Yeah, well, 29 million of your fellow Americans certainly are. Go catch my blog at The Situation Room for some handy links on the origins of hurricanes and emergency preparedness. Even if you aren’t in the path of Hurricane Irene, it’s always good to have some stuff ready in case of…well, whatever. Rampaging rabid unicorns, zombies, or plagues of locusts. Who knows? Just be prepared, is what I recommend.
That said, if you’re not in the path of the hurricane and you actually have time to do some reading (I don’t recommend this book to people who are in Irene’s path, since it’ll just depress the hell out of you), then by all means have a look at Eric Larson’s Isaac’s Storm. Isaac Cline was the weatherman at Galveston in 1900. That was the year a hurricane practically wiped Galveston off the map, and changed the course of Texas coastal history. Port status would shift to Houston after that. Countless people died in that storm. Thousands, and their bodies would continue to surface in the months following the hurricane. This story is Cline’s story, yes, but it’s also a riveting tale of 19th-century weather technology, politics, the arrogance of some people who thought it unlikely a storm could work its way into the Gulf, and the immense tragedy of a terrible storm. Larson’s descriptions of the days leading up to the storm and then of the storm itself as it slammed into Galveston will grab you by the neck.
And here. A site with photos (yes, younger people, there were cameras back then. Not like today’s, but they were there.) is HERE.
If that book doesn’t make you want to start planning escape routes and getting bug-out bags together, well, I don’t suppose anything will and I guess you’ll just have to ride out the rampaging rabid unicorns.
Anyway. To those in Irene’s path, please take the warning seriously and protect yourselves and your friends and families. Stay safe!