Credit: NASA

Yet another disaster is about to befall some of us, Hurricane Irene.  Disasters are something that can happen at any time.  For example, I have lived through a few disasters, and been evacuated more than once.  I lived in Galveston, TX when Hurricane Gilbert hit in 1988.  We were evacuated a couple of times before that, for possible impending hurricanes that ended up going farther north.  When I lived in San Diego, CA, my family and I were evacuated for the 2003 and 2007.  And of course, I’ve had to take shelter for numerous tornadoes.  But who hasn’t been there, done that?

Credit: Indybay.org

So I thought I would share some preparedness tips with you today.

DO gas up your car and get some cash.  If you need to evacuate, you will need your car and you may need to pay cash for a hotel room and/or food.

When we were evacuated during the 2007 San Diego wild fires, the fires where everywhere.  It was so hot and dry that new fires would burst into flame with nothing but the sun to start them.  As a result, some people had to unexpectedly evacuate.

They literally jumped in the car or on a motorcycle and drove away as fast as possible with the flames licking at their tires.

Really!

While that sound exciting and makes a good story, some people were killed.  Definitely not what you want to live through.

DO put your 72-hour kit(s) by the door.  That way you can grab them as you run out.  If you don’t have 72-hour kits, make up a couple and put them by the door.  DO include copies of important papers, phone numbers and cash.  Call your relatives to let them know what the plan is.  DO NOT forget to take your CPAP or other important medical equipment.  DO NOT forget a pack of cards, paper and pen, and/or mini-games to pass the time.  Your favorite pillow and a trashy novel or two wouldn’t hurt either.

DO have a plan on where to go if and when you are evacuated.  Many people go stay with relatives.  Others have to stay in a hotel or shelter.  If you stay in a hotel, DO ask for a discount because of the disaster.  When we were evacuated during the 2007 fires, we stayed at a La Quinta Inn in Los Angeles, and they gave us a discount.  They even made sure to give us a room with a refrigerator and a microwave.  And they took dogs.

DO board up your windows nowDO NOT wait until the last-minute.  If you decide to stay through a hurricane, you need the windows boarded up so that things cannot fly through one and hit you.  In a hurricane, something flying through the window can kill you.  Really.

Credit: National Geographic

DO stock up on water, non-perishible food, TP, feminine products and a can opener.  DO NOT forget the beer.  After a disaster, it is handy to have plenty of beer, as beer will be one of the things in the most demand.  If you don’t drink it yourself, you can barter with it.

DO NOT forget the chocolate.  Anyone with two X chromosomes is going to need it.  Better buy extra.

DO NOT go down to the water for a look (like this lady).  DO NOT go surfing, because those sick, gnarly waves are heavy dude.  If you do, you might win a Darwin Award.

Credit: National Geographic

DO relax.  Panicking doesn’t help.  It just makes you incompetent and really annoying.  If you are prepared, you have done the best you can.  Just live through it.

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