JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It is a difficult decision to make. Should you leave your home and everything you own without any idea of when you will return or do you stay to ride out the storm, so you can start the cleanup process as soon as possible?
One Jeffersontown native and his family made the decision to stay at their home in Hubert, North Carolina just 65 miles northeast of Wilmington.
"You are always going to question have I done everything? Do I have everything I need? You are going to question yourself all the way up until it happens,” said Matt Hamm, a Fern Creek High School graduate now living in the path of Hurricane Florence.
Matt and his wife Ashley spent Wednesday preparing their home on the intracoastal canal for strong winds and flash flooding.
“Getting anything out of the yard or outside that could be a projectile that could come through the windows or the house. Just making sure we are prepared. Everyone around here is taking it pretty seriously,” said Matt. “It was a thought-out decision. It wasn’t just a ‘Oh I’m going to stay.’ We can’t eliminate all the risks. I know it’s dangerous but the best way to handle it is just to mitigate the risk and do the best you can.”
The Hamm’s live in a two-story brick home with a basement and expect some flooding. Their county is under a mandatory evacuation. They have sent their two children to stay with relatives further inland but are riding out the storm in their house.
“The reason I wanted to stay was because if something happens to the house here, I want to be able to try to take care of it as soon as possible right after it happens whereas if we leave if we evacuate it could be weeks before we get back to our house. I think we are in a good place to handle it. Our house is well built, and it's been through multiple strong hurricanes. It went through Bertha and Fran, but I mean this will be strong, so we really don't know. This will be a new thing for everybody, so nobody really knows what is going to happen, but we will be here to see it,” said Matt.
"I think it's a big discussion for every family. It's hard to leave. It's hard to stay for different reasons. It’s hard both ways,” said Ashley.
While many question their decision to stay, the Hamm’s say they are prepared and ready for whatever impact Florence brings to their doorstep.
"Everyone here is prepared and if they did stay, they are not dumb. I think that's the assumption a lot of people have when people do stay in these storms - they know what they are doing. They are staying, and they have ways of getting around the risk and the hazards that are coming,” said Hamm. "Just continue to pray for our safety and a quick recovery from the storm and we'll see you afterwards and let you know we are still here."