August 29, 2005

A Bit 'O Info and a Quiz

OK, folks, a little Public Service Announcement from someone in ‘Cane country to those of you about to experience some Cat 1 or Tropical Storm strength winds, which may be out of the norm for you. Pay attention carefully, because there will be a quiz afterwards.

First, look at the below picture. If you find that you live in that yellow band, hereby called ‘The Cone of Confusion’ since I’ve seen people do some really stupid things when a TS or hurricane is coming at them, and it looks like this storm could come your way in the next 24-48 hours, this applies to you.


DO NOT drive in TS Strength winds or stronger. DO NOT go outside in TS strength winds or stronger. DO NOT run a generator in your home.

Not enough info? Need an explanation? Your ground is going to get mushy with rain, unless of course you live on hard red clay, and your trees can fall with hard winds. That surely makes sense.

Here’s another… we in S. FL have trees that are indigenous to hurricane prone country and are less likely to fall over or snap in a Category 1. (I said less likely, not that it doesn't happen.) These would be… Palm trees! They’re bendy, but alas, even they do snap. Trees that we have snap in our yards, are typically what we call ‘ornamentals’. They don’t really belong down here. Some leafy trees that are indigenous to this area will actually drop their leaves before or during a hurricane so the winds can blow through. Some of us (like TGOO) get trees pruned real thin or cut back so winds can blow through. Wind hitting a tree full of leaves is like wind hitting a concrete wall. No give.

So, unless you live amongst the bendy trees, or trees that ‘voluntarily’ drop leaves during storms, or you’ve had your trees pruned or cut back lately… your trees can snap off during the stress of the these force winds.

I’m not talking Killer Sticks like they talk about on the Weather Channel. I’m talking full blown branches whirling at you… or your car. Think the nastiest thunderstorm you’ve ever been in… then add a bit more wind.

So… stay inside. Consider it a video night. When I find out that someone died because they got hit by a tree or branch in TS or hurricane winds… I never think, “hoooowww sad”. I think, “Idiot”.

Of the nine people who died in Miami, 5 were tree related, 2 were boat related, and 2 were generator in the house related. There you go. Don’t do as they do, do as I say.

OK, now on to the quiz. Its multiple choice, so don’t fret… and only two questions, so piece of cake.

1) In Tropical Storm Force Winds or Stronger you should:

a. Go for a ride in your car

b. Go for a run, it’s the perfect time to start that exercise regime you’ve been thinking about.

c. Stay inside, watch videos, read a book and/or have lots of sex with your partner.

d. Get in your car, find a good woodsy spot, and go for a run.

Answer: If you answered a, b, or d… you’re dead. Or possibly dead. And definitely an idiot. Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest may have been written for you.

If you answered c, don’t forget to use birth control, someone can still get pregnant, hurricanes and tropical storms do not prevent conception…and by the way, that was the right answer. *grin*

2) You’ve just lost power and you are in the midst of a Tropical Storm or a Hurricane. You should:

a. Run your generator in your home, as you’ve always contemplated death by asphyxiation.

b. Hang out outside under a tree, preferably with a power line near it, as it must be a lot cooler with all that wind than in that stuffy house.

c. Run outside to your back porch and start moving all your porch furniture, garbage cans, and anything else that is a potential missile, inside or close to the house.

d. Stay put and deal.

Answers: If you answered a, b, c… you’re dead. Or possibly dead. And definitely an idiot. Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest may have been written for you.

If you answered d, you win. By the way, just FYI, do move all potential missiles from around your house (garbage cans, hanging plants, porch furniture)… just do it BEFORE the big wind.

And a trick question for those of us in hurricane country…

3) You live in an evacuation zone and a hurricane is coming your way. You’ve been told to evacuate. You:

a. Evacuate.

b. Don’t evacuate, your stuff is too important, and you don’t care if you might die anyway. You’ve made peace and will live with what comes your way.

c. Don’t evacuate and when the big winds come and your home is flooding, you crawl up into the attic with a hammer, crow bar and ax, and call 911 saying, “Someone please come save me, I want to live!”, thereby asking OTHER people who did evacuate and had their families evacuate, come risk their lives to save you.

The answers are a and b. If you answered c, the answer is… too bad… so sad… you die. You had your chance. You should have thought about your will to live when you were told/begged/pleaded with to evacuate. Your indecision to do so… has just… eradicated you from the gene pool. Darwin’s Theory at it’s finest. By the way, the news will pick up on that and the rest of us will laugh at how nervy and stupid you are. Idiot.

Good luck, stay safe and I hope you don’t lose power. It sucks to lose power in the summer. Watch out for tornados… don’t know what to tell you about those. Find a bathtub??? Tornados scare the every living hell out of me.

Posted by Boudicca at August 29, 2005 07:57 PM | TrackBack

Excellent advice. :) And I am sooooo glad to not be in the "cone of confusion." I looks like Katrina is going to continue to be interesting (and a bit of a bitch). Today sucked for the people flooded in Mississippi but I am thankful that it wasn't *so* bad in New Orleans.........

Posted by: Richmond at August 29, 2005 09:16 PM

Anything with sex in the answer is the right answer ;-)

I'm more scared of tornadoes than hurricanes. I guess it's that whole "unpredictable" thing about them!

Posted by: Sissy at August 29, 2005 09:32 PM

You tell 'em Bou. I'm torn between being sad as so much loss of life and just being ticked off because people JUST DON'T THINK!!!!!!

Posted by: Tammi at August 29, 2005 09:41 PM

BTW, I had a chic in my training class today named Katrina. She was a BIG chic.

And let me tell you, she got hell! The Hurricane Katrina jokes didn't stop!

Posted by: Sissy at August 29, 2005 09:43 PM

c, yep it is always the right answer. Being midwestern types and growing up in incliment weather...we are like boyscouts and are always prepared....

Which leads me to think that might be a great hing for your "den Mom" activity, even if the hurricane season is over....

Have the scouts make a "hurricane preparedness kit"

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at August 29, 2005 10:15 PM

Excellent post Bou, but may I add two things:

A -- If you live along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts during hurricane season, take a minute each day to check the news. One evacuee was quoted as saying Katrina "sneaked up on him" and he didn't have time to put up his shutters. Our reporter didn't ask which planet he'd been visiting lately.

B - If you have to evacuate, check the news and drive in a DIFFERENT direction than the storm's going. If that isn't possible, drive farther than dangerous winds are predicted to go. Katrina evacuees headed north, or east to Pensacola (still within the forecasters' margin of error). Last year lots of folks headed for Orlando, only to get nailed by two storms.

Posted by: George at August 29, 2005 10:38 PM

Anyone who gets offed by a Cat one Hurricane is helping to clean up the gene pool by getting rid of "stupid genes" A cat four or five may be different if they can't get out of the way and there is no place to go-or they or unable to go. If Katrina had hit NO as a five it would have torn hell out of the dome and probaly took a bunch of people with it. You can bet the south forty that if they tell me a cat three or higher is headed towards sweetthings play house then me and sweetthing are outta here before the trafic gets to heavy!

Posted by: GUYK at August 30, 2005 08:46 AM

Let's see... you live in a city that is below sea level... protected only by levees... you decide to "ride the storm out"... guess how much sympathy I have for you when you get into deep s*&t??? Yeah, none would be about right. *sigh*

As for tornados - it's all pretty much chance. You go to the lowest level, to an inside room if possible (no windows is best) Get UNDER a sturdy table if possible. Then pray for the best. A tornado last year in the far south burbs of Chicago killed several people who were in a basement... the house collapsed on them. They did what they were supposed to do - it didn't matter. When all is said and done, it's up to God, karma, or chance (whatever you favor as a view of life).

Posted by: Teresa at August 30, 2005 01:13 PM

e) Live in Wisconsin :-)

Posted by: Harvey at August 30, 2005 02:39 PM

I'm all set with my grill in the living room so I'll have heat. :)

(Yes, dammit, I am kidding. Geez.)

Posted by: Ogre at August 30, 2005 02:43 PM

If you're safe and comfortable, having lived through or dodged nature's latest assault on the Gulf Coast, and if you live on the Atlantic Coast or anywhere in Florida, now might just be a good time to consider what you should take with you if you have to evacuate from a hurricane. We have 10 more years of these large storms predicted, and trying to ride out a Cat V, or even a IV, is like pouring chlorine in your gene pool. You can't take everything you own, so think about which of your possessions are important to you, and make a checklist. Checklists save lives.

Posted by: TGOO at August 30, 2005 04:59 PM

Did TGOO and my dad go to the same military training? ;-)

"Checklists save lives"

If TGOO labels everything, I'm going to do some geneology research! :-P

Posted by: Sissy at August 30, 2005 05:47 PM

Sissy, are you referring to labels on extension cords for each major appliance that attachs to the generator,or the lables on: paint cans and oils, cds, discs, complete filing system?

As for checking your genealogy...start with a strong military background it nurtures organization. ;-)

Posted by: Bou's mom at August 30, 2005 10:41 PM

So if I was in a TS or hurricane I shouldn't ride my bike to the video store, taking a short cut through the woods, to rent porn and get lube? Mahn... Those storms sound so boring! :)

Posted by: Contagion at August 31, 2005 08:35 AM

I like TOGO's checklist idea. But plan to be gone more than a few days. They just reported New Orleans is gonna be evacuated and could be up to 16 weeks before folks are allowed back, to live in what?

Closer to home, there are heavily-damaged high-rise condos here in Palm Beach County that are STILL unihabitable after last YEAR's storms. So when you evacuate, think WAY ahead.

Posted by: George at August 31, 2005 12:58 PM