We as a nation, we in North Carolina and especially we in the High Country are no strangers to the arrival of emergency situations.

Now, this week, even as we solemnly remember that most tragic of tragedies, 9/11, we are preparing for another — the wrath of a September hurricane strong enough to potentially affect even those of us who call the mountains of Western North Carolina home.

Most of us have made our own preparations — and prepared for everything except for that which cannot be prepared: the unknowns.

The unknowns are the substance of natural weather events. How high, how deep, how fast, how far are all things we do our best to predict, but experience has been a harsh teacher when it comes to those predictions.

Yet that same experience has taught us that there is one thing we can predict — being able to count on one another when emergencies arise.

Our separate communities across Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties never feel more connected than when we must join our neighbors in need.

What needs will arise, if any? At the time of this publication, that answer is yet to be determined. But, it is a comfort to know that we are neighbors in the High Country, and are willing to lend — as well as receive — a helping hand.

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