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May 28, 2006


Are you prepared?


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Not living in Florida: Check

I'm ready!

Wow, first almost 20 minutes after the fact... FIDTY!

And for the sake of all those living in SoFla, I hope that the weathermen are wrong (why are they only wrong when it comes to stuff you want like sunshine and warm weather?)

This is a sign that I need to get up and get some kind of life...

Hot dogs or wieners!

Happy Memorial Day.

The predictions are actually that the Mid-Atlantic should see some action this year. So post Dave's column on your fridge.

Water, gas, food, and a way to cook without electricity! Generators are expensive, noisy, and a pain in the rear. Consider investing $100 or less in an inverter [WalMart, wherever] that will let you run some lights/ TV, or periodically cool down your fridge, running off your car. Cheap, quiet, but you still need gas, Dummy!

Best of luck to all.

Very funny, but oh so true.


Thanks for the new column.

I'll be thinking about y'all from here in su.so.ca. :)

True, actual, real-life Duh!-type tip, based on genuine occurences last hurricane season:

Do NOT run generators in your basement or in your garage if it adjoins your house. Fumes, people, fumes.

Yes, people really did this. No, they are not around to tell of it.

For somebody who was going on vacation and not going to be blogging much, you sure are putting in a full day, Dave!

Hurricane checklist:

6 gal Water 12.06
Batteries 8.46
P-nut butter 3.49
Cat food 13.55
Cat litter 3.50

Place to stay in Atlanta: priceless

BS ~
I was wondering if that was actually on the hospital menu, or if it was under "symptoms" on the patient's chart?

Dave, you forgot the "must haves" - beer, ice and bleach!


I just got my generator an hour ago at Home Despot...er...Depot, I meant DEPOT.

Anyway, it runs on water, right?

Anyway, it runs on water, right?

tropichunt.guy...don't forget to boil the water first!

But how can I do that if the generator ain't working? This isn't one of those chicken/egg things is it?

I've only got a couple more days to get a clue get my act together! PLEASE HELP!

southerngirl's right, Dave. Let's not forget the bleach. We still don't know why we need bleach, but need it, we do.

So far, I have gas, some water and batteries. I need everything else, including tropichuntguy's generator.

Bleach is for the clueless, that don't put nearly-full containers of water in their freezers, plus everywhere else. A tiny [think teaspoon to gallon] amount of bleach will make tainted water more drinkable [especially when you don't have a way to boil water]. By the way, a tiny amount of bleach in water also makes cut-flowers last much longer.

Also, for the uninitiated, fill your darn bathtubs; if for nothing else to be able to pour water into your toilet tank for flushing when the water gets cut off.


Breathe...that's better. YOu've actually got plenty of time. Bryan Norcross isn't running his hurricane preparedness special until NEXT Saturday, and all in all it's probably better to be clueless.

The clueful are the ones who are glued fearfully to the TV for the 72 hours before the storm actually hits even when it's clearly NOT coming here. It's hard to NOT be clueful when you've been through a major hurricane. Remember after Andrew, many of us in South Dade were panicked every time a tropical wave came off the coast of Africa. AFter a couple of years that got old.

Besides, you can be clueless and NOT stand in line for hours. The trick is dodging the lines. After WIlma, I found myself caught in traffic that was not going anywhere because it was a line for gas or water or whatever.

I would only follow Dave's advice about the missing stoplights if I were driving a Sherman tank. Otherwise I prefer to wait until EVERYBODY HAS STOPPED, then cautiously edge my way through the intersection. Sometimes, I edge and wait, see the car stop, then edge some more & wait, until I'm in the middle of the intersection and I've stopped the whole 6 lanes. By then every car in Broward Co. is honking at me, but I don't give a cr*p! Of course, that's just me.

*looks up, blinks*

Huh? Huricane? Wazzat?

*looks it up in Doorstop Dictionary (tm thingy)*

aahhhhh... "...a weather event that can make an entire state look like the morning after of a frat party..."

But seriously, folks.. stay safe! (also buy your gas & batteries now.. they don't go off. Also the prices won't be jacked up to triple normal rates because at that point, it's a necessity that everyone's prepared to pay for. At the moment, it's just stuff.)

I thought Dave was in some kind of semi retired stupor. Or at least that he wasn't writing articles anymore. Not that I am in any way complaining. It's great that the stiff doesn't know how to quit.

I have been reading his stuff since the early 80's when it was illegally available in notes files at Digital Equipment Corporation. I won't even mention the several inch thick stack of 132 column paper which held such articles printed out. If I were mentioning that, I would have to explain that I had taken them with me as cherished reading material to each home our family has lived in. Later my wife and I, on cold wintery nights in New England, enjoyed several of his books burning slowly in the fireplace.

I did think that it was rather insensitive to imply that the people of Florida were staying there because they were stupid..... until I realized that I wasn't getting that that's where Dave is from.

Actually, the state of Florida is running a special - no sales tax on hurricane - related items. I think it's over after this weekend, so get out there and get your supplies, people!

This Turtle Wax IS a hurricane related item.

But what if I promise to wash the car during the hurricane?

You can come over to my house and watch me polish my car during the hurricane.

You, you really want to come watch that?

Oh all right the Turtle Wax isn't a hurricane item, but this dog leash definitely qualifies.

djtonyb - I've seen 'no-tax' ads on this very blog....at this very moment...at the bottom below my post...with a cute little animated hurricane logo that goes round and round, kinda like your patio furniture...
The Home Deblow - "You can blow away...we can make money off that."

Cut flowers. Add to list. Check.

To go with the bleach.

simul with BS....with flowers!

Unrealious - Dave is from NY state. He actually moved to Florida by choice. But, hey, he's a comic writer, so you go where the material is.

Great column as always Dave!

I'm so glad I live in Pittsburgh where the biggest natural disaster we must face every summer is the Pirates

... um ... Annie?

IMHO, there's at least as much stuff for comic source material in DC, or SoCal ... merely sayin' ... (Yes, I know that the Miami Herald is the Flagship of Knight-Ridder, and that prolly had more to do with his residential transfer than some of the other thots we've had ... merely observin' ...)

The real story behind the vacation. The Grand Opening.

"They're in an isolated spot and they pose no danger to the public," he said.

Cue Jaws theme.

Pittsburgh...another place where I can stay (priceless)!

CJrun: I am most definitely NOT clueless when it comes to the bleach and bathtubs. Lived here all my life. Been through MANY storms. More than Dave. Never needed the bleach. But, then again, I never bought flowers prior to a hurricane, either.

BS - That is definitely the opening scene for a movie - eeekkkkk!


Chicago too. You bring the bleach. I got a bathtub.

Thanks, BS, however, in Chicago we won't need the bleach or the bathtub !

If we have 26+ hurricanes this year, I'll have plenty of places to go. Yayyy!

*plenty of places to go: priceless*

BTW, for what it's worth, in 22 years I've never used bleach because of a hurricane.

You only need bleach if there's a 'boil water order' for city water, or if your only water is standing water (like in a bathtub or washing machine), and it has to stand for several days. And, then you only need to boil it (or use 4 drops per gallon and shake well) if you're going to drink it, cook with it (or wash dishes with it), or brush your teeth with it.

Who's going to cook or wash dishes if you have no power? That's what paper plates and take out are for. Restaurants were open within 48 hours.

Some of us in Chicago do use bathtubs sometimes.

Boil water orders only happen after the Annual Aldermen's Beach (not Bleach) Party.

In Utah we get mudslides, but that usually only on big houses built by rich people wanting to "get away from it all" but actually end up "bringing it all with them anyway," so it's really not a problem. Or people who are too stupid to get a geologist to look at the property and see if building on it is a good idea
FYI: building a house in a spot where you cut out the toe of a mudslide is a bad idea, the mud was there first, and it won't go away. I can't find the pictures online, but they were pretty amazing, especially at first when the cement two-story basement walls were bending into wiggly walls.

Sarah j would have us believe that they only have mudslides in Utah,

Apologies in advance for a non-humorous post, but everybody has more fun if they're not unpleasantly surprised.

Not New Orleans, where I've spent much of the last year; much worse Waveland, Mississippi. This link is to a view of downtown, last week. No one from Waveland doesn't know about complete destruction. This is where Camille hit, in my living memory the worst storm to hit the U.S. The Historical Marker in the center records the thanks of the locals for America's response to Camille; everything else is new or all that's left. Where I'm from, on the North Carolina coast, we have a vertical marker near the beach to remind us of what storms can do. Camille is at the top, 25-feet over your feet. In this shot, there are nothing but trees with @ 6-inches of new leaves around the branches behind me and bare concrete. This time, the wall of water is estimated to have been 28-feet above your feet:


These amazing people were prepared, but 28-feet was the most, and then some. However [though I didn't check it out], the trailer across the street has now instituted a Lady's Night:


Keep it safe and simple and know there comes a time to get out.

BS - I know there are many legitimate non-hurricane related uses for bathtubs, not least of which would be...baths.

ps, bs, I get comments emailed to me, so I read all three

Thanks for this article,I like the "classic" introduction, you're excellent. How come I never write things so many Americans laugh even if I'm desperately trying to use your "humor tricks"? Perhaps because I write in Czech language?

Dave, you know about www.Uncyclopedia.org, don't you?

I will copy this and give it to my class (I teach physics)!

I tell my kids, if you CHOOSE to build your house in FL, you are gonna get eaten alive by aligators and carried away by palmeto bugs... (No stop! another subject) you will have to accept that there are HURRICANES there that may topple your house.

Don't blame anyone. Don't be a cry baby. Move to Arizona if you don't want to have to live with the possiblilty of a hurricane.

If you don't want to have to deal tornadoes, don't live in AZ, CO, NE, OK, TX, KS. or Don't be a cry baby

If you don't like being snowed in for 8 months out of the year, don't live in the north east or the upper plain states. or don't be a cry baby.

Volcanoes? Wasington state near Mt. St Helens! or DBACB.

Earthquakes? CA, OR, Alaska.

Floods? Don't build you houise in a FLOOD PLAIN of a river. It is like building you house IN THE RIVER! or DBACB.

When the birds and the livestock are leaving, GO! A cow has more sense then some people.

Weather is not personal. It even rains on Dave Barry for Gawd's sake! DBACB

Only Dave could make the thought of another hurricane season bearable ;)

Two miles from beach, on the mainland (just this side of the Intercoastal, but not on it): Check

Drawers full of different sized batteries: Check

Battery-powered boom box with a good antenna and a CD player: Check

Lots of empty gallon jugs, saved all winter, to be filled with water and frozen: Check

Flashlights and Candles Where I Can Actually Find Them When The Lights Go Out: Check

Lots O'Canned Goods and Bottled Water: Check

Bottle o'Captain Morgan, a couple cases of Coke, and a box full of mellow: Check

Insurance and other Important Papers in the safe (along with pictures of all my Valuable Stuff): Check

Toilet Paper: Check

That last is a joke. I grew up in western PA, but lived in DC for a number of years. Made me laugh--every time there was even the remotest threat of a snowflake, all 7 million people in the metro area went to the local Giant at the same time and cleaned out all the milk, the bread, and the TP. I figure if nothing else (and no offense to any DC'ers here, but) most of 'em aren't even close to having the IQ of Bean Dip. With five hurricane seasons under my belt since moving south, two of them being the costliest on record (and with some hair-curling stories to tell, I have some lovely memories of Charley, thanks), I still feel like I live in a better place. I used to wonder what IQ-sucking fairies possessed people to buy such quantities of these items when the weatherman was talking about...maybe an inch or two of snow at most? Oy. Anyway...

Living on the central Florida coast: Priceless, Dammit!!!

mellio, sounds like you have your 'Preparation H' well under control!


I live around the DC Norhten VA area. Whenever we get an announcement for 1/2 inch of snow there is a run on TP, bread and milk at the store.

Some lady had a head of cabbage and a 16 roll of TP in her cart last "warning." That was all. Wondering what she was gonna do with it but moved to the other line to chack out, just in case she was an "untay" fiay ouyay atchcay aymay iftdray.

check out.

Mikey, it sounds like the lady with the cabbage and TP was preparing to make some hellaciously-spicy cole-slaw, realized she'd forgotten the cabbage, and then, passing that end-cap of cheap TP, thought "Ah, what the hell, I'll be needing more of this anyway..." Heh.

You should move. Soon. Anywhere. I seriously worry about the friends I left behind, lest the IQ-Suckers get them, too...

What about the plywood?

I haven't seen anyone mention it, so maybe you don't need it, but do you have a wrench to turn off the gas in case of a leak? I keep mine right next to the cut-off valve. Of course, if you smell gas, get out immediately. (I'm in earthquake country.)

Not much gas in So Fla.

Cornered the Beano market, have they?

Annie, If I smell gas I blame the dogs.

Mellio, I plan to move as soon as I can, but not during the "winter." Couldn't get anywhere with all of the crazies with their 72 rolls of TP, 500 loaves of bread and 10 gallons of milk trying to get out of the parking lot before the winter storm advisory in North Carolina.

Oh, and *snork* mellio!

Um. Okay. So I'm reading the column, which I found funny, and when I get to the bottom, I glance at the "Ads by Google" section. Which is where I read the link titled "Idaho Hurricanes". It's a government link.

See, the thing is, Idaho is whatcha might call a landlocked state. Like Colorado and Missouri and Kentucky and a number of others. And unlike, say, Florida or Hawaii or Alaska. Not much chance of hurricanes reaching us here. One of those things I expect the government to know.

But I'm the curious type, so I clicked on the link. Which is when I discovered it's sponsored by FEMA. And now it all makes sense.

Well, I don't have to worry about hurricanes at the moment, although if the global warming that we are, of course, NOT experiencing gets any worse, the SF Bay Area will probably become hurricane central. As it is, we are having weirdly humid weather, like summer in the East Coast. It is a good reminder, however, that I need to update the earthquake kit since those are, sadly, not seasonal and the newspapers keep bleating about another big one being inevitable...

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