As someone who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida. I got this email and after reading it realized that this is very true…
Note: now that the first hurricane of the season has come ashore, I
thought I would remind people of some basic tips for hurricane readiness,
This will be especially valuable to any new arrivals.
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 Atlantic Ocean and making two basic meteorological
(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.
Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in 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, we 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 Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.
Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this
sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in 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 Nebraska.
Unfortunately, if your home is located in 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. Since Hurricane George, I
have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week,
I’m covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy
which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are
entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.
SHUTTERS: Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows,
all the doors, and — if it’s a major hurricane — all the toilets.
There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:
Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself,
The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall
Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get
them all up.
The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be
useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.
Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they’re very easy to use, and
will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will
have to sell your house to pay for them.
Hurricane-proof windows: These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane
protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand
hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so.
He lives in Nebraska.
Hurricane Proofing your property: As the hurricane approaches, check your
yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture,
visiting relatives, etc…
You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool
(if you don’t have a swimming pool, you should have one built
immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into
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 “Florida,” you live in a low-lying
The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in
your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a
gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred
thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.
If you don’t evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them
now! 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!)
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 Andrew; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate
$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: Its great living in Paradise.