Ten hard-earned lessons from Katrina, recalled just in time for Irene:
1. The hurricane categories go all the way to 5, but don’t let the scale fool you. 3’s can be awfully vicious too. When Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, it was clocked as a 3. Enough said.
2. It’s a whole lot easier dragging rugs and furniture upstairs before the storm hits – than out to the curb afterward.
3. Just because you think you have insurance doesn’t mean you have insurance. Common post-K lament: “You mean my policy excludes FLOODS?”
4. Evacuating is a category-5 hassle. Hurricane predicting is still hit-or-miss. That false-alarm possibility causes lots of people to shrug and stay put. But when the authorities say, “Leave now!” it’s probably best to leave.
5. Don’t forget the pets.
6. Masking tape secures windows. Plywood secures windows more securely.
7. The media can be hypey, but in big natural disasters, we are truly at our best. The brilliant Katrina coverage proved that six years ago. Irene will prove it again.
8. Hurricane parties are a lot more fun when the hurricane goes someplace else.
9. If you decide to ride it out: have food, water, batteries, candles – and gasoline, the last one for when you get sick and tired of sitting in the heat and dark.
10. When government failed at every level–local, state and national– thousands of small-scale private efforts brought the Gulf South back. Public-spirited kids volunteering their vacation time. Church groups hanging some old lady’s sheetrock and fixing her roof. A heartfelt thanks to all of you. Please don’t forget post-Irene New York.
YOU CALL THAT AN EARTHQUAKE?
2. Terra Still Pretty Firma
3. San Andreas Not-My-Fault
4. Shake, Rattle and, Oh, That’s Enough
5. The Little One
THE NEWS IN SONG:
“I Am the Big Easy” by Ray Bonneville
ASKED AND UNANSWERED:
Did it really take an on-coming hurricane to make you clean the basement? Sure looks that way…Before this week, did you know that the 1938 hurricane – New York’s worst ever, 140 mph winds, 12-foot surges, LI pressure dipping to 27.94 – was nicknamed “Long Island Express”? Does that make you feel secretly proud?… Tough week for maids, huh? Dominique Strauss-Kahn walks and then the matronly Gloria Suarez is accused of kidnapping a Great Neck 5-year-old. Is that every working parent’s nightmare – or what?…If the “Battle of the Bay” had a gentler-sounding name — “A Calm Day on the Water” maybe – would the Coast Guard have given a permit for Sunday’s sunk powerboat race on Great South Bay?…Shouldn’t at least one of the retrospectives on Steve Jobs’ mammoth impact at Apple have been headlined “iSteve”?…Do you call it “gaming” or “gambling”? Answer me that, and I’ll know how you’d vote in the state referendum the “gamers” are betting on… How crafty is Samantha Deutsch? More importantly, how skinny are her wrists? How often do 23-year-old suspects slip from their handcuffs and out a side door at the Second Precinct?…Bees? A frantic infestation of bees in a tree trunk just off campus? Isn’t the post-summer return to school traumatic enough for students at Riverhead’s Bishop McGann-Mercy High – even without swarming bees?
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK:
We’ll see how we get through this storm.
Follow him at twitter.com/henican
Category: In Print