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Hurricane Season...Are you Ready?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by JC, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. JC

    JC Beach Lover

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    Hurricane Season

    We're about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological hints:

    (1) There is no need to panic
    (2) We could all be killed

    Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Alabama/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 experiences, I recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:

    Step 1. - Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days
    Step 2 - Put these supplies into your car
    Step 3 - Drive to Ohio and remain there until Halloween.
    Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Alabama/Florida.

    We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:

    HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE

    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 Ohio

    Unfortunately, if your home is located in Alabama or 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.

    EVACUATION ROUTE

    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 "Alabama" or "Florida" you live in a low-lying area).

    HURRICANE SUPPLIES
    If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Alabama and 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 SPAM.

    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 55 gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
    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 a hurricane; 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: it's great living in Paradise.
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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  3. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    Native of Tampa now in Boston 'burbs. Left my hear
    :floor:

    :bow:
     
  4. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    I think you have nailed it!!!! Great stuff. :laughing1
     
  5. Camp Creek Kid

    Camp Creek Kid Christini Zambini

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    :lolabove:
     
  6. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    You know you are a gulf coast resident when . . .

    You have FEMA's number on your speed dialer.

    You have more than 20 C and D batteries in your kitchen drawer.

    Your pantry contains more than 10 cans of Spaghetti Os.

    You are thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood covering
    your windows.

    When describing your house to a prospective buyer, you say it has
    three bedrooms, two baths and one safe place.

    You are on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot.

    You are delighted to pay $3 for a gallon of unleaded.

    The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone.

    You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of the pool.

    You own more than three large coolers.

    You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel the
    least bit guilty about it.

    Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can assemble a portable generator by candlelight.

    You catch a 5-pound catfish. In your driveway.

    You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance
    policy.

    At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest chainsaw.

    You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.

    There is a roll of tar paper in your garage.

    You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at
    the Weather Channel.

    Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.

    Ice is a valid topic of conversation.

    Relocating to South Dakota does not seem like such a crazy idea.
     
  7. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    The first one is a Dave Barry column from a couple years back. (and is still funny every time I read it)

    In a similar vein, let me present Carl Hiaasen's Guide to Hurricane Journalism:

    "Excerpts from The Handbook for Roving Hurricane Correspondents:
    Welcome to the exciting world of hurricane journalism!

    While your highly paid colleagues on the anchor desk are broadcasting from the dry safety of a heavily fortified television studio, you and your camera crew will be out in the maw of the storm, risking your lives for no good reason.

    ? What you should wear: Always choose the flimsiest rain jacket available, to visually dramatize the effect of strong winds. All foul-weather gear should be brightly colored in the event you're swept out to sea or sucked down a drainage culvert, and someone actually goes searching for you.

    ? What you should televise: The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind. Never mind that the puniest summer squall can send a coconut palm into convulsions, your producer will demand this meaningless shot.

    Once the storm begins, you can forget about swaying palm trees and concentrate on ficus, banyans, oaks and Australian pines -- the ones that actually go down.

    Fallen-tree video is absolutely essential to hurricane broadcasts. The most sought-after footage is, in order of ratings:

    1. Big tree on strip mall.

    2. Big tree on house.

    3. Big tree on car.

    4. Small tree on car.

    5. Assorted shrubbery on car.

    Note: The Hurricane Broadcasters Code of Ethics forbids correspondents from purposely knocking down any native vegetation with a TV satellite truck to simulate weather damage.

    ? Where you should go: The days before a hurricane are the most challenging for roving correspondents, because not much is happening. Needless to say, if you've got a choice between hanging out at the local Home Depot or cruising the beach, head immediately for the surf.

    When the storm finally comes ashore, always stand dangerously near the rough water and position yourself so that the spray hits you directly in the face. If it's not raining yet, take off your hood and let the wind mess up your hair.

    Remember: A wet, tired and weather-beaten appearance is crucial to your credibility as a hurricane journalist.

    ? What you should say: When covering a hurricane, there's no such thing as overstating the obvious. And, let's face it, how many different ways can you say it's rainy, windy and miserable?

    To break the monotony, you might take a guess at how high the ''storm surge'' will be, even though you won't have a clue. Tedious lulls in the action will also offer the opportunity to ramble on about ''feeder bands,'' which is the slick new term for squall lines.

    And when the dry, well-fed anchorfolks back in the air-conditioned studio ask you to sum up the situation in your location, always say the following:

    "Conditions are deteriorating, Dwight.''

    ? Whom should you interview: As a hurricane advances, it's standard procedure to chat with evacuees, hotel owners, utility workers and disappointed tourists.

    The two mandatory video loops are (a) worried residents boarding up and (b) harried residents standing in long lines to purchase water, batteries and other supplies.

    Once the storm is imminent and the coastlines are evacuated, your interview possibilities will be reduced to:

    1. Police and emergency personnel who are out on the streets because it's their job.

    2. Amateur ''storm chasers'' and other wandering dolts who wish to experience the force of a hurricane up-close and personal.

    3. Surfers.

    Of these, surfers are by far the most entertaining interview subjects for TV. Unfortunately, you could easily die trying to talk them out of the water.

    ? What to do when the hurricane actually strikes: Obviously the sensible move is to broadcast from the protected lee of a strong building, but for that you could get fired.

    Your producer will instead order you to step into the teeth of the storm, where you risk being clobbered by flying glass, coconuts, shingles, patio furniture or surfboards.

    This is an act of utter derangement, but it makes for amusing television. If you survive, your next mission will be to find and film a major piece of hurricane debris -- the money shot.

    Remember, your viewers' expectations are high. They've watched that big slow mother whorling across the Doppler for a week, and they've been primed for devastation on a biblical scale.

    Take no chances. Proceed immediately to the nearest trailer park, being extra careful not to crash into other TV crews on the way.

    ? What to do when the worst is over: A friendly reminder -- The Hurricane Broadcasters Code of Ethics strictly prohibits drinking on the air. However, only you and your camera crew need know what goes on in the privacy of the satellite truck. If anybody asks, you know what to say: "Conditions are deteriorating, Dwight.''
     
  8. dusty

    dusty Beach Lover

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    LOL!
     
  9. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    too too funny :floor:

    In the New Orleans newspaper a couple of days ago, there was this great cartoon, involving two couples, one from NYC and one from New Orleans. The captions were as follows:

    New York Couple:

    HE: "We winter in the city"
    SHE: "But we summer in the Hamptons"

    New Orleans Couple:

    HE: "We winter in New Orleans"
    SHE (reading the "hurricane approaches" headline in a paper): "But we summer in a Motel 6 outside of Houston"
     
  10. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    I swear those 2 guys on CNN were the worst actors I've ever seen (save Cindy Crawford). I would lay money that they were next to that Ramada Inn sign for at least an hour repeating nearly the same lines, waiting for it to finally come crashing down, and delivering the cut line, "I've never seen anything like that"!!! :floor:
     
  11. seagrovelover

    seagrovelover little sugar

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    Kurt thats funny .....I dont care who you are (larry the cable guy) :laughing1
     
  12. Cork On the Ocean

    Cork On the Ocean directionally challenged

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  13. whiteyfunn

    whiteyfunn SoWal Staff

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    "You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at
    the Weather Channel."

    Sad...but true. I won't even name them. It's too embarrassing. :oops:
     
  14. Kimmifunn

    Kimmifunn Funnkalicious

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    Dr. Steve Lyons, Jim Cantore...one more Wlaner?
     
  15. whiteyfunn

    whiteyfunn SoWal Staff

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    Mike Bettus (who was in Destin)...Don't forget Jennifer Lopez. By the way, I love the ties that Dr. Steve Lyons wears.
     
  16. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Mike Bettis is the former weatherman for Channel 13 News -- Asheville.
     
  17. Kimmifunn

    Kimmifunn Funnkalicious

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    Mike Bettis was such a hottie. There were a few weathermen that I would have hunkered down with! :wub:
     
  18. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    heh heh... :lolabove:

    My husband has commented that I watch TWC during hurricanes not for the weather, but for the guys...
     
  19. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    If I remember correctly, Mike Bettis is a very active sports guy, and has a great personality. I know you girls are getting steamy.
     
  20. Kimmifunn

    Kimmifunn Funnkalicious

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