Like Groundhog Day

Well, Tropical Storm Issac is out there and the usual suspects in the world of news and weather have begun their “Groundhog Day”-like storm coverage (the movie “Groundhog Day”, that is), hoping for enough wind to down a branch, better yet a tree or a sign, enough rain or surge to create impressive waves or cause enough standing water that they can don windbreakers and stand out in the elements with microphones in hand and generate some “exciting” coverage.

The pre-storm reports will come complete with worst-case scenarios, a wide cone of uncertainty that will include as large a swath of the population as possible (to remind us just how vulnerable we are, so we keep watching) and the use of the color red on their tracking maps to insinuate real trouble and to invoke a mild sense of panic. This year, they have the Republican National Convention in Tampa conveniently poised as bait to keep us hanging on to witness the havoc that could be wreaked by a direct hit. Ha! I just heard them on TV touting Tampa as THE MOST VULNERABLE CITY for a direct storm hit. So it goes and will continue to go as long as there are storms.

As Always, Be Prepared

Once again, please, yes, prepare! Stay prepared. If you always keep yourself stocked up with extra basic supplies such as non-perishable food, water, batteries, flashlight, a radio, matches, propane for the grill, etc., then when such storms come they will hold much less of a frenzy factor because you will be able to spend your time getting your house, boat and other belongings secured rather than running in a panic to the store to find only stray cans of the most hideous semi-edible substances left. Why stand in line with other harried last minute shoppers as you imagine the coming days of nutritional and flavorful deprivation? You don’t have to wait, you can go to the store right now and pick up a few things. Small price to pay for a little peace of mind. Then there are the gas lines. I shudder to imagine being caught in one of those. Just keep on top of things, stock up, get everything secure and have a plan in place. Use a bit of that good old fashioned common sense God gave ya.

Last year I did a whole post on preparing for hurricanes and other emergencies. Rather than repost that, here is a link to that post, Be Prepared, Save Your Sanity, Sleep Well Tonight. That contains lists of things to have on hand, general preparedness guidelines as well as info on shelters (requirements for the shelters, do’s and don’ts – i.e., those with special needs must sign up ahead of time, etc.) – so make sure you are aware of whether or not you are in an evacuation zone, as well as knowing shelter requirements well before a storm is set to hit.

Today, I took a gander at and stumbled upon a link to this INTERACTIVE HURRICANE TRACKER. If you have already made your preparations for whatever is or isn’t to come our way and find it fun to track the various storms of the season, here you go. This one is a real time tracker and you can chose which storm you want to watch.

As of this morning, it looks like Tropical Storm Issac will head toward the Gulf of Mexico. Doesn’t mean it can’t change direction or that we won’t get some bad weather anyway. Hurricane season drags on until early November, so stocking up and being prepared is always a good idea. Besides after hurricane season, there’s always the state of the economy and the rise in food and fuel prices to remind us we should have food storage and other preparations underway.

At this point, preparation should be a way of life.

Now, go clean up your yard and secure all that loose stuff that might fly around in a storm and hit not only your house and windows, but your neighbors’ as well. If the storm veers off in another direction, you will have your weekend free to enjoy. If it does come our way, you will have two free hands, peace of mind about your own home and the time to lend a little help to someone else in need.