After all the local serious news stations have aired their annual Hurricane Specials, I ask do you know what you’ll do when the next big threat comes? I suspect the majority of you would say…”I’ll deal with it when it comes as I currently have other pressing issues to deal with”. Whether it’s kids, work, financial pressure or health issues, life is demanding and often we are just trying to survive. I understand that, but I also realize we must understand where we live. We don’t have elevation and we’re surrounded by water. I like what the Director of FEMA said last week. “We need to be first responders.” Government can lend assistance, but as individuals, we must have some personal responsibility. Each Hurricane Season brings the same question…do you stay or do you leave? Let’s start with do you stay? 1) Do you have a second story to go to if the levees breech again? 2) Do you have window protection (Plywood or shutters) to keep the wind out? 3) Do you have a generator when the power gets knocked out? 4) Do you have enough supplies to last 7-10 days? 5) Do you have children under 5 (since they require way more attention and are too young to understand what is going on)? If you answered no to any of the first 4, then your decision is already made. If yes to #5, then You also must leave. Evacuation is expensive, especially if you have a large family so some planning is required. Know where you’re going and how to get there. It’s better to set up in advance a destination, preferably where you’ll stay with relatives or friends as costs of lodging (motels)& meals will skyrocket costs. I know many of you will wait until the last second to leave when you’re really sure NOLA will be impacted. Know this, the longer you delay your decision to leave, the greater the amount of traffic & gridlock. If I was retired, I’d leave way early even though the uncertainty of the forecast is greatest then. Go see your brother in Shreveport or your sister in Monroe, or your Aunt Betti in Birmingham or your college roommate Marvin in Meridian. Take them out to dinner once or twice in exchange for room and board. Bottom line, take responsibility and get out of harm’s way. The Army Corps of Engineers says our levees and pumps are better than ever, but that’ll only work for the Cat. One & two storms. If/When a major hurricane threatens, be smart & get out.
No tropical activity in the Atlantic is expected during the next 7-10 days. The Pacific could see several storms if computer models are correct. More exciting is a weak front coming through on Sunday that will increase our rain chances and then bring some drier air for Monday & Tuesday. Stay tuned!