Valdosta Daily Times. June 1, 2021.

Editorial: Be prepared for hurricane season

While pandemic seems to be subsiding, hurricanes may be the last thing anyone wants to consider.

But the 2021 hurricane season starts Tuesday.

The hurricane season runs June 1 and through Nov. 30.

Predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show a high probability of 13-20 named storms during the 2021 season, according to national forecasters.

Of those, NOAA expects six to 10 to become hurricanes (winds 74 miles per hour or higher), with three to five “major” hurricanes (winds 111 mph or higher).

An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, with six hurricanes, three of them major, according to NOAA’s website.

Given our history of the past few years, with the region feeling the effects of hurricanes each year, South Georgia residents should prepare for whatever the next six months may hold.

South Georgia preparations should include:

— Disaster kits with water and nonperishable food for at least three days, portable radio and flashlights with plenty of batteries, prescription medication, important documents and other special needs, such as baby diapers.

— An emergency plan so each family member knows how to find others. Have another emergency contact person who lives out of town.

— Stay informed on evacuation orders and routes. Check with your insurance agent on flood insurance and your homeowner’s policy.

— Businesses should have a disaster plan to locate employees, to continue business if the physical location is severely damaged or destroyed, etc.

Even though South Georgia has experienced the brunt of hurricanes during the past few years, too many people do not prepare for the possibility of disastrous weather until days prior to a storm’s predicted landfall.

Last-minute preparations lead to situations such as what has happened here in the past when bottled water and canned foods disappear from store shelves to a point where some people had more than plenty and others had nothing stocked.

Stock up on perishable foods now in case of food shortages or electrical outages in the wake of a hurricane or storm.

A little preparation now can save time, money and worry later.


Brunswick News. May 26, 2021.

Editorial: If you are eligible, give back by donating blood

For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the health care issue that has been on everyone’s mind. It is understandable since it has been about 100 years since the world has faced a crisis of this magnitude.

In that timeframe, though, other diseases and disasters didn’t press the pause button. There have still been patients diagnosed with such diseases as cancer and people who have sustained trauma. That means there is still a dire need for blood donations, and that includes in the Golden Isles.

When you donate blood, you are helping people facing a variety of problems. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. They could be a cancer patient, an accident or burn victim, someone undergoing surgery or patients dealing with other issues. That need didn’t go away during the pandemic.

Different types of patients may need something different from the blood. Platelet donations are ideal for cancer patients, according to the Red Cross, because certain cancers and treatments can prevent patients from producing their own platelets.

Power Red is the ideal donation for trauma patients, like someone who is injured in a car accident. Power Red refers to specifically donating red blood cells, with the platelets and plasma filtered out and returned to the donor. The red blood cells are used for trauma and surgery patients because they carry oxygen throughout the body.

AB Elite plasma donations are also critical as they help stop bleeding in trauma patients and help burn victims maintain their blood pressure and other vital functions.

Donating whole blood is also important, especially for sickle cell patients who require multiple transfusions and must be very closely matched to the donors blood type, usually from the same racial and ethnic group. Considering how sickle cell affects African Americans at a greater rate, there is a need for those donors especially.

There is a need for all types of donations. If you are eligible to donate, we encourage you to help out your community by donating blood, platelets or cells to help those who need it. If you don’t know if you are eligible to donate blood, visit to see the criteria for those eligible to donate.

If you fit the criteria, there will be a few opportunities in the coming weeks to donate. There are two this week — starting today from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3631 Community Road in Brunswick, and Friday from noon to 5 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1400 Norwich St. in Brunswick. A complete list of drives in the area can be found at by putting in a zip code.


Dalton Daily Citizen. May 31, 2021.

Editorial: Have a fun, safe summer

With recent temperatures ranging from the low 50s to the upper 70s, this certainly doesn’t feel like the start of a North Georgia summer.

With the transition from spring to summer (it doesn’t officially begin until June 21), our days are becoming increasingly longer. And that’s not the only thing increasing -- temperatures will soon soar into the 90s. Those 100-degree days will be here before we know it.

As the temperature rises, there are still many chores we have to accomplish: mowing the lawn, painting a fence, getting the pool ready for a long summer of use, etc. There are also plenty of pleasurable things for us to do: boating on the lake, catching lightning bugs with our children at dusk, family cookouts, etc.

But while we are outside, we must pay attention to the heat and also remember rules to keep us secure around water. Here are tips that we can all follow from the American Red Cross with the goal of having a fun and safe summer.

Water safety

1. Do your part, be water smart. Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.

2. Actively supervise children by staying within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers.

3. Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.

4. Don’t just pack it, wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket -- always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and close adult supervision.

5. Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair -- everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.

Heat safety

1. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

2. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors -- they absorb the sun’s rays.

3. Slow down, stay indoors. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

4. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

5. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

Have a fun, safe summer!