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10/01/2005 Archived Entry: "Hardyville: "What a Disaster""

"WHAT A DISASTER." The latest Hardyville column is now live. Its message: Always trust your government ... if you're looking for a certain outcome.

This column was inspired by an e-mail I received from a guy named Rifle who lives in the hurricane zone. I intended to build the article around his message -- but those damned Hardyville curmudgeons fought me and beat me. So the column is only marginally related to what Rifle wrote. But his message is still a good one, so ...

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Rifle wrote (to a friend, with cc to me):

Since you asked, I will tell you what you all can do for me, and that is to do a little self assessment. Assume you are totally and completely on your own for all your food, water, comfort and physical security and you have 24 hours to prepare all you will have for the next two weeks. How well would you do? We are all doing some soul searching on that topic ourselves. Most folks in Louisiana have done very well but some folks can't cope.

Believe me, don't rely on cell phones. There isn't a cell tower up for 50 miles. The internet seems very resilient and was available almost right away. Don't know why when the phones are still out in many places.

Are you able to arm yourself where you live? Can you legally travel with loaded guns within easy reach where you live? If not are you willing to break that law, or will you let the cops protect you? (That one cracks me up every time!) Got a pistol? Great. Here's the catch. Are you proficient with a rifle? Believe me, you don't want to allow a mob of 50 people to get within pistol range of your house or car! The bad guys are stealing rifles from WalMart anyway so they won't need to get within pistol range to hurt you. Thank God they can't shoot straight. Is your rifle a bolt action model with the typical 3 round magazine capacity? Yes? How fast can you reload it?

How much ammo do you have on hand? Once it hits the fan you won't be able to buy more.

Do you know the roads well enough within 100 miles of your house so that you can evacuate by backroads if need be? At night without a map? On roads that will not flood? Do you know how far between towns in case you are low on gas? (You won't start out low on gas will you?!) Where will you go?

How big a supply of needed medications do you have on hand? Diabetics have been in REAL trouble in the NOLA area this week.

Living the country life is great but get ready because you will get power restored last. Live near a hospital, nursing home, fire station, police station, or other government facility if you want power back fast.

Do you own a generator? Great, you can run a house fan and your refrigerator. Got plenty gas for it? Great. Here's the catch. The sound of a running generator is a giant "STEAL ME!!!" sign that can be heard far away when the neighborhood is dead quiet cuz power is out.

Do you have sufficient cash on hand? The ATM is down Buddy and credit cards are no good today and maybe not for a while.

What's that? No hurricanes where you live? Great. Al-Queda may pay you a visit some day.

Guess that's enough of a brain starter. Sorry to vent but the news is full every day with stories about folks who have flunked the test. Don't let yourself be one of them.

Posted by Claire @ 08:31 AM CST

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