Many of you know that before my migration to Montana, my family hailed from Biloxi, MS.
We were VERY active after Hurricane Katrina, providing relief and contributing to the continued relief efforts required after that disaster.
After Katrina, we saw the BP Oil Spills devastate the region. Again, the Corten Cavalry was there, providing relief to all the workers who were responsible for helping clean up the beaches…
If you’ve been watching the news, you probably know that Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. It will probably become a full fledged hurricane before it makes landfall.
We know that sometime tonight, Isaac will make landfall, somewhere near New Orleans. As far away as Gulfport, Biloxi, and even Mobile, AL seem, they WILL be affected by the high winds, storm surges, and torrential rains that Isaac will bring with it.
We’ve already been contacted by local officials for assistance and we’re already working with “troops on the ground” to provide it.
Right now, that means that we’re already providing 20′ and 40′ ISBUs to Aid Agencies to stage relief gear in, gratis. As we define “further need” we’ll begin to address it , wherever possible.
Once again (We go through this EVERY year, don’t we?)…
(I’m not going to go thru the entire litany. You’re getting barraged with “things you should do” all over the Net and the News.)
Here’s the essentials;
If you live in an affected area, PLEASE prepare and listen to local authorities. If they’re telling you to evacuate, DO IT!
While that “Hurricane Party” may sound like fun, you’re playing Russian Roulette with a storm. The odds are not in your favor.
If you’re still at home waiting to see what happens, establish and then document your Evacuation Route. Don’t wait until the last minute. IF it looks like you’re in the path, GET OUT.
Remember also that you may have to drive hundreds of miles to find a hotel room.
Turn on the local news and LEAVE it there. Contrary to popular opinion, storms are NOT “predictable”. They call them “weather models” for a reason.
Check in with news and other sources hourly to reacquaint yourself with WHERE the storm is, hourly. I know, it seems like a LOT, but folks, a LOT can happen in an hour.
Get your supplies together.
If you don’t have a 72 hour kit prepared, you’re already behind.
This series of bags (one for each family member) should already be in your car, ready to go. Included in this bag should be;
Any required prescription drugs
changes of clothing,
ALL of your important documents,
and other personal items.
If you have a prepared first aid kit in the house, grab it and throw it into your car.
If you’re getting ready to leave, you should be getting your home ready for departure, as well. Secure your windows (taping them with duct tape “crosses” is highly over-rated), board up any openings that you can and turn off all the utilities. ALL of them. There isn’t any sense courting a further disaster by introducing stray electrical power, water or gas to a shattered or damaged home.
Yes, you’re going to lose the food in your refrigerator and freezer. It’s WHY I constantly remind people to have at least 72 days of canned or “dry packaged” food stored in their homes. A loss of power doesn’t affect a can of peaches, until you open it.
If you’re staying put, insure you have fuel for your generator. You DO have a generator, right? The power is going to go out, most certainly. Having spare parts for that beast is also a really good idea.
Finally, insure that everyone knows where everyone is and that they know how to contact each other. Having walkie talkies or radios is a great idea. Cell Service is going to be inconsistent, at best. Remember, good solid communication is crisis is essential to survival.
If you’re in an affect zone, know that our hearts and prayers are with you. We know that you’re prepared for what will come and that when it’s necessary, you’ll make the right decisions.
Stay calm, keep a clear head and act responsibly.
We’ll be watching…