Our view: It’s hurricane season; time to prepare

We’ve said it before …

Just like Mardi Gras, hurricane season comes but once a year, although the latter is considerably less popular.

And more dangerous.



And we can be lulled into a false sense of security.

And we hate to be preachy, but on this particular subject matter we must insist, if we are to take our community role seriously.

For all these reasons we have included, in this issue, stories about where we have been, where we are and where we are going to be in terms of our storm vulnerability.



So you’ve lived through Gustav and lived through Ike, and Katrina didn’t do a whole lot in these immediate parts beyond lower the unemployment rate and make affordable housing less available.

So you don’t need to read any further than right here, at this particular paragraph.

Wrong.



The question is not whether, given the right threat, you will leave here and go somewhere else until the storm passes. It is how.

And how do you propose to do this?

A lot of people never gave it much thought in 2005.



And a lot of people died.

So humor us.

The key to making a plan is actually sitting down and doing some writing. Pen, paper, tablet, phone, it doesn’t matter. Write it down.



There is nothing like looking at scrawled or typed words to bring their reality home.

And the reality is that some time between now and October, you may need to leave. The irreplaceable documents should not be hunted for then.

They should be accounted for now, and put in a place where you can pick them up quickly.



The cash, as much as you can gather, up to maybe around $500, that should be in an envelope in a safe place, because ATMs do go out, and they run out of cash, and when there is nobody around to replace it then what do you do?

You’ve thought about what to do with the dog and the cat. But did you think about the parakeet? Or did you think about the monitor lizard?

Now is the time.



The storms we are used to running from – yes, we have no compunction about admitting that we have indeed run away from storms and neither should you if that is the case – they often come from very far away, building off the African coast as tiny little depressions before they feast on ocean heat, eventually wheeling through the Caribbean and into our front doors.

But that’s not always the case.

Just as destructive a storm as anything we have seen can build up right below us in the Gulf of Mexico, given the right conditions, and then we are not monitoring for a full week and keeping our fingers crossed. We are in the need of going.



Do you have that transistor radio that runs on a single AA battery or AAA battery just in case? Or will you depend on the car radio that might not function for information?

Likewise, do you have the extra cell phone battery – the one you can plug into – for when normalcy runs awry?

Keep the phone powered and www.houmatimes.com bookmarked, and you will come by useful information tailored to the specific needs of people who live right here, during your evacuation journey.



Within the pages of this issue you will finds lots of tips and lots of perspectives.

But perhaps the most important message is this one:

We have all been told that this is expected to be a relatively mild hurricane season. We are not expecting to be hit by a whole lot of storms.



Well it just takes one.

In 1992 Hurricane Andrew showed up as the first named storm all the way in the middle of August. We thought we were home free. But we weren’t.

One single, solitary event can make for a whole lot of “woulda shoulda,” even if it is late in the season.



So prepare for it now, as if it is coming real quick.

Your life and the lives of those you love may depend on it. •