My Hurricane Irene public service message
I’ve had alot of jokes and good fun poking fun at the hysteria created by Hurricane Irene and the impending chaos she’s causing, but in all seriousness weather and natural disasters are nothing to screw around with. Even the best meteorologists can tell you that weather can only be forecast to a point, and the rest is up to Mother Nature. Just because it looks like Irene may come and kick your ass doesn’t mean she will, and conversely it doesn’t mean she won’t either.
Reading story after story in the media is only going to heighten your sense of panic, and cloud your judgement and I’m going to tell you something that you need to pay attention to: panic kills. It’ll cloud your judgement, cause you to make a mistake and that’s that. I was in Katrina, standing in the middle of a flooded street trying to get my shot when a manhole cover down from me blew off. The resulting undertow of water was enormous and it was as if someone had grabbed my ankles, pulled me off my feet and was going to take me down the drain. There was nothing to hold on to, there was no fighting it and the ONLY thing that kept me from becoming dead was the fact that I’m just too structurally big to fit down the sewer. Too wide at the shoulders, and if it weren’t for three TV media people who were there I probably would have drowned just the same. The cables in their truck tossed to me are the reason I was able to get the hell out of there.
That happened because I made a stupid mistake in being somewhere I shouldn’t have.
Here’s some other pointers, and take them at face value. I am neither a meteorologist or a storm expert. I’m just a reporter who’s been in more than his share of natural disasters.
- If your local officials have told you to evacuate, then do it. Don’t be a hero, and if you can’t for some reason get out, then call 911
- Stick to the objective sources for weather updates. Watching all the storm pictures and videos on Yahoo is great for visual effect, but that’s only going to heighten your sense of panic. If you want something that’s just facts and information, stick to the Weather Channel. They have no interest in generating clicks, or selling stories. They’re only going to give you the facts that’ll keep you safe. They also have apps for your phone.
- If you’re not leaving, then best of luck. I don’t endorse or recommend it, but I’m also not there. Just the same, here are some survival tips – here, here and here.
- If you’re in New York, and you haven’t already hit the stores for supplies, stop reading this immediately. You’re already late; get your ass out of the house and get whatever is left on the shelves. Ireme’s already been downgraded to a category 1, but is projected to pick up steam. Will it absolutely hit New York? There’s no telling, but do you want to be caught with your pants down?
- IF you’re in Zone A in New York, you’re already under mandatory evac, and transit is completely shutting down at noon today. Just get out of there already, will ya?
- Keep in contact with anyone you can to let them know where you are at all times.
- Last but not least, if there is flooding, do whatever you can to stay the hell out of the water. I was only in knee high water when the manhole cover blew and I almost died.
There you have it, my public service announcement of the day. I won’t be one of those sites that publishes absolutely everything they can get on Irene, but I didn’t feel right not putting something out there. Stay safe, stay dry and good luck!