I’ve found that no amount of preparation is going to sustain you for anything that resembles Katrina. That is no excuse for not making some preparations though. The Department of Homeland Security suggests 3 days 3 ways. I’d put a zero on the endo of that 3 and make it 30 days. That’s more realistic, unfortunately. I wish homeland security would get more realistic with the public on that note.
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season starts Friday, and forecasters have predicted an above-average year: 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to 10 of them becoming hurricanes and three to five of those major ones of at least Category 3 strength with winds above 111 mph. One forecaster said odds were high that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. this year. . .
“Nevertheless, 53 percent of those surveyed in 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states say they do not feel that they are vulnerable to a hurricane, or to related tornadoes and flooding, according to the Mason-Dixon poll.” }
The preceding excerpt indicates that the Mason Dixon Poll was taken on behalf of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states. The Mason-Dixon web site features another article from the Insurance Journal concerning North Carolina residents. I hope there were two polls and these were not confused!
There was an outside study done by cell phone companies in the wake of Katrina who said that cell phones and text messaging was important communications tool when all other communications on land line phones have failed. It came from the GSM Association. Having a small portable easily charged cell phone at the ready for emergencies is helpful. There is a wiki on GSM phones that you should read.
I went so far as to contact the local pay phone company’s carrier, who had three district crew members lose their homes in Katrina. They worked hard, in spite of this fact and kept the pay phone operational after about a week of it being on the fritz. The rest of the problems with the phone service came from local lines that tied into underwater circuits in the Gulf. It left us without local calls, but allowed for long distance calls. The long distance service was undependable at times as I was cut off alot. Maybe that was just FEMA’s phonelines. They mistakenly utilized the phone number from where I was calling to identify my case. FEMA subsequecently puts you on a list of fraud and abuse watching . It was a waste of time to catagorise FEMA cases by phone numbers. Your neighbor, for example, has phone service and you don’t. He has to file a FEMA claim, too. FEMA puts you under investigation for that. IDIOTS.
Having a land line phone other than your home phone was important. I did not have a cell phone during Katrina. The phone list you utilized in Katrina would be helpful, too. I would also suggest in vain to keep the Atty. Generals number handy along with the local OEP and Red Cross numbers. Don’t forget the gun and the ammo, just in case you’re really hungry, or the unfortunate necessity of protection from looting. (The Carolina woman quoted from Insurance Journal just didn’t seemingly hava clue, maybe nothing will hapen this year. I hope so for her sake.)
June 15, 2007 Update:
Blog: View from the Ridge
Post: Hurricanes, the National Guard and good government