Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hurricane Preparations

This goes under the heading of "I did not write this but I wish I had". This was an email from a friend written for all of us in the Sunshine state. After reading this, I'm baffled as to why property values here have skyrocketed and everyone seems to want to move to Hurricane land.

You all should be aware of hurricane preparations, but in case you need a refresher course:

We have entered the peak of the hurricane season. Right now, you can to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob down in the Caribbean 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 Florida. 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 insurance industry experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:


Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.


Put these supplies into your car.


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 Florida.

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 requirements:

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and

(2) It is located in Wisconsin

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, 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.


Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap.

Sheet-metal shutters: 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.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows: 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 "Florida," 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! Florida 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 cat food. In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:

23 flashlights. 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 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 Andrew; 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: Its great living in Paradise.


Jeff F. Haines said...


I really liked the "don't panic"/"we could all be killed" sentiment. Much like this country's obsession with terrorism.

Pipo said...

yeah. that remark is good.

good sequence. don`t panic.

we could all be killed.


joanne said...

Uh oh, hope you don't have to flee anytime this season. If so, I have room in my house here in boring NM. We have monsoons, but never any hurricanes. :-)

Brookelina said...

I've always wanted to go to NM!!!

MoDigli said...

that was hilarious! Hope you survive the season. :)

Ian McGibboney said...

Ha ha! Sounds like Louisiana could use a little of this too!

Major7 said...

One thing that you missed, though...

Be sure to fill the bathtub up with water. However, and speaking from personal experience here, don't forget to tear yourself away from the slicker-wearing reporters on the TV dodging palm fronds and other projectiles, and go back and turn the water OFF before it overflows, fills the bathroom, works its way down the hallway underneath all the walls and into the living room to soak your brand new carpet.

And then the hurricane didn't even hit us!

Brookelina said...

I like looking at Loni Quinn, so it's quite possible my tub will overflow!

Major7 said...


Anthony said...

I don't think my first attempt at posting this comment worked. Here I go again...

That made me laugh my northern ass off. I've actually been to Florida twice in the summer, mostly because my parents are crazy and refure to go on vacation in the winter like normal Canadians. This year they are going to Cuba. I think its a secret ploy to avoid Americans.

Brookelina said...

LOL - I wish I could take credit for this one, but as I said, some other Floridian wrote it. Whoever it is should have their own blog.

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