Louisiana Hurricane Season Notes
We're about to enter the peak of
the hurricane season. Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and
see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of
Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.
Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Louisiana. 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.''
Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple
three-step hurricane preparedness plan:
STEP 1.Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least
STEP 2. Put these supplies into your car.
STEP 3. Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.
Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this
sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Louisiana.
We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:
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
(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska.
Unfortunately, if your home is located in South Louisiana, or any other
area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, 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 used dental floss. Since
Hurricane George, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance
companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance
Company, under a policy which states
that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on
demand, to my kidneys.
Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the
doors, and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are
several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:
The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The
disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall
The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The
disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be
useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.
The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely
protect your house. The disadvantage is that you willhave to sell your
house to pay for them.
These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection: They look like
ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be
sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.
"Hurricane Proofing Your Property:
As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like
barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc..
You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool
(if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built
immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn
these objects into deadly missiles.
If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route
planned out. (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 mess of supplies. Do not buy them
now! 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.) A large quantity of
raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who went through
Camille; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)
$35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can
buy a generator from a man with no discernible 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 ocean and tell you over and over how vitally
important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean.
Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise!