Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
For all of you Florida poets who have just had a big scare (as did I) with Charley, I would like to post this hurricance preparedness fact sheet to aid you for the rest of the hurricane season...
FLORIDA HURRICANE PREPARATION
You all should be aware of hurricane preparations,
but in case you need a refresher course:
We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season.
Any minute now, you're going to turn on the TV and
see a weather person pointing to some radar blob
out in the Atlantic Ocean and making two basic
(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
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
Hurricane Proofing your property: As the hurricane
approaches, check your yard for movable objects like
barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting
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
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
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
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.