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Hurricane Ivan

Hurricane Ivan (the fourth major storm to threaten Florida this season) has been lurking in the tropics. It has already devasted Grenada, blasted Jamaica and is today heading for Cuba. The track 2-3 days ago had it heading, once again, to Tampa Bay. Today the track has it much further west in the Gulf. We shouldn’t be affected at all by Ivan. The panhandle of Florida, however, is in for a direct hit.

This Hurricane humor came my way in an email.

Subject: Hurricane Season
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 points:
(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
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:
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
(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.
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,
they’re cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they
will fall off.
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
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 deadly missiles.
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 area). 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:
1. 23 flashlights. At least $167 worth of batteries that turn
out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.
2. 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!)
3. 55 gallon drum of underarm deodorant.
4. A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be
useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)
5. A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators.
(Ask anybody who went through Andrew; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate
6. $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: It’s great living in Paradise.

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