My brother and sister-in-law and tiny baby nephew recently moved to New Orleans. Their first hurricane experience just came and went- luckily, they dealt with run-of-the-mill rain and wind and that was about the extent of it, we’re all relieved. Here are the hurricane procedures that really helped them in their preparations-
Soon, you’re going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some spinning red thing headed toward our coast and making two basic meteorological points:
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.
If you’re new to the area, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we’ll get hit by “the big one.”
Follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:
STEP 1. Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.
STEP 2. Put these supplies into your car.
STEP 3. Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.
If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:
(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska.
Unfortunately, if your home is located in Louisiana, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place. So you’ll have to scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like a bad talk show host.
If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned.. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver’s license; if it says Louisiana, you live in a low-lying area.) The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.
If you don’t evacuate, you will need a lot of supplies. Louisiana tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM.
In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:
–At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
–Bleach. (No, I don’t know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it’s traditional, so GET some!)
–A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
–A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)
–And $35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no visible teeth.
Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the gulf and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the gulf.