By urbanhoustonian at September 11, 2008 | 1:39 PM |
You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of rain and wind but of Ike. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Dirty Side!
So we’re going to get hit. It’s going to be nasty, it’s going to be scary, but it’s going to be okay, Houston!
A lot of people are pretty agitated this morning. A friend of mine that works in Clear Lake was told to evacuate Houston. That isn’t going to be necessary. Another friend is tweeting about boarding up her windows. That is not going to be necessary. In times like these I turn to the person that everyone turns to in times of need, my Dad. He is a veteran of our last major storm, Alicia. I asked him this morning what he thinks I should do. My roommate is going to be out of town, so I am reluctant to leave our house alone during the storm. He thinks everything is going to be okay, and that I should be fine. But here are some choice nuggets of information that you should take with you.
If you live in a house:
1. Your home is going to make some noises that you never thought it could. It’s going to creak, it’s going to moan, and you’re going to be a little freaked out. Also, flying debris is going to smack your house from time to time, and scare the bejesus out of you. It’s all good, your home will surive this storm.
2. The major problem with hurricanes is the wind and tornadoes. Here’s the thing about wind. It’s going to pick shit up and throw it around. It’s possibly going to hit your house. Life happens, deal with it. As for tornadoes, well, Dorothy there isn’t enough plywood in the world that’ll save a house from a direct hit from a twister. Again, there’s just nothing to do but protect yourself. Remember, you know how to handle yourself in these situations.
If you live in an apartment:
1. Visit or contact the leasing office TODAY. They have plans in place for these kinds of situations. Find out what you need to know about your complex. It’ll help in the aftermath.
2. Typically, you should be okay, but use some common sense about your windows and the trees that are out there.
Okay, so let’s talk about this storm. The scariest thing about this whole deal is that it appears Ike will make landfall in the middle of the night. Do yourself a favor, and go to bed early tomorrow night. At least go to bed at a reasonable hour, and get as much rest as you can before it hits; likely around 2:00 in the morning Saturday. Again, a nighttime storm is just going to be a scary proposition. Rest up people.
As for stocking up. Plan for a couple of days. Things should be fairly back to normal by Monday morning. I say this without an expert opinion, but I’m not expecting things to get irreparably bad. Don’t get me wrong, this storm, if it holds its course, is going to share the living shit out of you. But it’s more like a really bad roller coaster, and not a catastrophe movie.
Also, just some tips on communication. The lines are going to likely be clogged with phone calls initially. Try texting people instead. Texts use less bandwidth, and can get through easier than a phone call. If you use Twitter, turn on device updates for the people and entities that you might get important information from. Twitter really took off during the California Wild Fires last year. People started twittering information, and it was an amazing transformation of the service. In this case, follow @hurricaneike and @chronhurricane. Turn on device updates before going to bed tomorrow night.
I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by how fast Houston will bounce back from this storm. You should know that the Houston Ship Channel opened for business as usual the day after Alicia. You should also know that we have learned a lot since then in terms of disaster response and recovery. This is going to be fascinating to watch.
Be safe, be smart and take care of yourselves.