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Monday, June 12, 2006

Hurricane Season is here

As I watch the rain and track the first tropical storm of the year, I feel the need to warn everyone of the upcoming hurricane season. I've been in Florida for a while now, and when I ran away to North Carolina the hurricanes followed me there too. I think I've got this whole storm preparedness thing down. For those of you who need some help in in this area, here are some tips.

DO NOT DEPEND ON THE GOVERNMENT TO HELP YOU! They're too busy trying to keep things from getting totally out of control. If you're lucky enough to have really incompetent leadership, they won't even properly manage the assets they have. Be prepared to be alone for about three days. Should the worst happen you can venture out after the initial panic wears off. When we had three hurricanes roll through Orlando in short order, the National Guard had ARMED sentries at the ice distribution points. This was in a reasonably functional city – no riots, very little looting – two weeks after the storm. The government will be busy maintaining overall order. You have to take responsibility for yourself.

For a reasonable list of what you need, check out the Red Cross. They've been doing the disaster recovery thing for a while so their advice is not to be taken lightly. Personally, I think they do great work so support them if you can. Your particular situation may demand adjustments that only you can determine. Aside from food, clothing, and shelter, all else is luxury. Popular tips
include filling the bathtub with water and getting canned foods. Just don't forget the can opener. I like MREs or any type of camping food. If you live in a trailer, seriously consider going to a shelter. While it should go without saying, do not wait until the storm is about to hit to get your hurricane supplies. Tensions will be high and supplies will be low. Batteries and flashlights are usually the first casualties. Bottled water and canned food are the next. Gasoline might be a problem, though it's usually just a matter of waiting in line. Hopefully you have clothes, but having a few extra changes of underwear and socks might not be a bad idea. Rainwear is a good idea, but I would just stay indoors.

Stay safe out there.

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