It is Friday, August 17 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hurricane Dean is poised over the Caribbean gaining steam with a path pointed in the direction of Houston, Texas. Two years ago hurricane Rita started in a similar fashion. Some silly arrogant person felt the need to assure everyone on national television that we in southwest Louisiana would be spared the Almighty's wrath because of lucky leprechauns or horseshoes. A reminder is not warranted for the destruction that was unleashed upon the area.
On to the more important matter of how prior planning can minimize the personal impacts and stress of an inevitable act of God. There are things you just don't think about until you are faced with the situation. The following is a listing of things that one may not think about until it is too late.
- For comfort, safety, and sanity it is extremely important to know all the back country roads out of dodge'. If at all possible avoid using the roads they suggest on the television. Think about this logically for a minute. Yes, everyone else is going to go that way and it does not make sense for everybody to try to leave the same way at the same time. It is advisable to listen to the radio and television to find out what the others are doing so you can avoid the cluster that is forming.
- If you have not already done so, gather important papers in a container to take with you. This includes bank information, identification information, deeds, INSURANCE policies, registration, marriage/divorce certificates, tax information, and legal paperwork. If you have a copy of it in your home you should take it with you. Also snap a picture of your home on the way out of the door. This will come in handy. Maintain an updated list of things of value in your home. This is just a smart thing to do.
- Empty you refrigerator and freezer! Trust me this is really important.
- Cut off all electrical appliances. Yes, just go ahead and unplug the refrigerator and leave the door cracked open.
- Keep your gas tank full.
- It is advisable to have a destination in mind. The emergency shelters are unreliable and often times unorganized to the point of frenzied frustration. If you don't have a friend inland I suggest you start working on cultivating the relationship if you are determined to live in hurricane alley.
- Have bottled water, baby wipes, dry or canned foods and snacks on hand for the journey.
- Maintain a positive and grateful attitude and remember the law of attraction. What one thinks about and meditates on comes to pass.
May peace and safety surround you and your homes in the event of natural occurrences.