15 April, 2006

Hurricane season is upon us

Yesterday I started my preparations for huricane season. And I got to thinking, why not publish a list, reviseable, for folks to reference, and also get the doggone word out early. I remember the hell my folks went thru with Katrina, and what my son & I went thru getting the hell out of Rita's path. So, here goes with the first draft of the list:

1. Flashlights - make sure you have the D cell kind, as they will last longer
2. Water - lots of bottles
3. Papers - insurance, birth certificates, passports, social security cards, bank account papers, et al. If you're trying to get the hell out of Dodge, it can drive you crazy getting these papers. It is a good thing to have a safe where you can store these, and grab and go
4. Video recording of valuables & possessions: I had my son go thru cabinets, closets, etc., filming and doing a narrative of what we had. I've burned a DVD, and stored in a safe, as well as on a hard drive somewhere.
5. Protection: if you are staying, or if you are leaving and going to be on the road, you need to be able to protect yourself and your family. I will go on the record here: I am a Life Member of the NRA. I don't agree with everything Wayne LaPierre says, but he is our chosen advocate. If I listened to Janeane Garofalo I probably would not agree with what she said, but I'll defend to the death her privilege to say it. If you are in a situation where there are people who want something you have, they sometimes will not have limits to what they will do. You need to arm yourself. Many times just the display will be sufficient as a deterrent. If you have never owned a firearm, I strongly recommend that you buy from a reputable dealer, such as a Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, or the specialty shops such as Carter's Country in Houston. Pawn shops are a no-no if you have never owned a firearm. I also strongly recommend that you enroll in some firearms safety courses. These can be found in your local yellow pages, or can be referred via the NRA's website, www.nra.com. To use the words of Vince Lombardi, 'Offense wins games, defense wins championships.' You have to be able to protect yourself & your family.
6. Cash - have several hundred stashed away if you have to get out. You do not know what condition the atm's will be in.
7. Hurricane tracking chart: The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate gives these out in Baton Rouge. http://www.2theadvocate.com/hurricane However, the one I use is (location to be added). I have it plotted out on a 20x 30 sheet of fome core, mounted in my office. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you can read it, and plot on it. The important thing is to have knowledge of where a storm is, and how it can affect you.
8. D batteries - would be good to have rechargeable
9. generator - best kind is natural gas powered, about $3500, then you have installation costs. You can get a gas powered one from Home Depot, Lowe's, or Tractor Supply for about $750, that may run a refrigerator and lights, but not AC. It will need to be hooked up by a qualified electrician, and periodically turned on to ensure it works.
10. covering for windows: http://plylox.com/ These are the plywood clips that you need to install on your windows and doors frames. They are built for using 7/16" OSB (oriented strand board). OSB is available at Home Depot, Lowes, 84 Lumber, and most of your local supply yards. Last year I helped a neighbor put OSB on his windows, and he had gotten 3/4". I had to use my router and trim the spots down to get the clips to fit. Also, measure all sides of all openings. One of the master capabilites of less than capable craftsman is to hide errors. I found this out the hard way, when I did not have the freaking time for it. Make sure you have a circular saw, jig saw, cordless drill, and portable trim saw available. Again, if you don't know what you are doing, get help installing. The plywood does not guarantee that you will be safe inside, but is intended as a damage prevention during the storm.
11. Gasoline. From June 1 to December 1, do not go home with less than half a tank of gasoline in your automobile. That 's a little extreme, but you cannot count on when gasoline stations will have gas when a storm is in the Gulf or headed for the Atlantic. If you are traveling, do not carry gasoline inside the passenger compartment, place on an external rack.
12. 12VDC to 110 AC adapter for your automobile - can run a tv, dvd player, battery recharger, at al.

There will be more, and please feel free to add comments and suggestions. This is intended to help all of us make it thru another season, with the Grace of God upon us.

Now for those looking for the Pat O's type of hurricane, here's a recipe, with credit to drinksmixer.com .

Scale ingredients to servings
1 oz vodka1/4 oz grenadine syrup1 oz gin1 oz light rum1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum1 oz amaretto almond liqueur1 oz triple secgrapefruit juicepineapple juice
Pour all but the juices, in order listed, into a hurricane glass three-quarters filled with ice. Fill with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, and serve.

Serve in:Hurricane Glass

Now, for the skinny on how to deal with a Miami Hurricane

It was a bad butt beating:

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