Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Following Up on Hurricane Laura

The situation in western Louisiana is dire. 

“We have a major feeding operation going, it’s been a slow process actually getting that started just because there’s no resources here,” explains Captain Trey Jones, Incident Commander of the [Salvation Army's] Lake Charles response." From KPLC TV. [emphasis added]

Please donate to the Salvation Army or other reputable charity (I do not recommend the Red Cross) that is focused on Laura response. The red link will take you directly to the Salvation Army's Laura response donation page.

On the sixth day, about 600,000 people were still without power. There will be people without power for at least another week.

Meteorologists are talking about the fact that more than half of the fatalities attributed to Laura are from carbon dioxide poisoning rather than as a direct result of the storm itself.
Via Twitter, click to enlarge
We feel a sense of frustration because this is a known cause of deaths in the aftermath of hurricanes and we don't know how to solve this problem. Below is an excerpt from the safety suggestions on this
blog 36 hours before Laura's landfall. The National Weather Service and others were providing similar advice.

I also wish to comment on the wisdom of evacuating when a major hurricane approaches:  From multiple reports, Lake Charles and surrounding areas still have no water and no power. Food was in very short supply, although that situation has improved. While I fully understand the attachment to one's home, leaving reduces the human suffering and it makes for one less family to draw upon the first responders' limited initial resources.

By leaving, you could purchase fresh clothes, food and water and bring them with you when you return.

I bring this up because we are at the height of the 2020 hurricane season and the United States may have one or more additional landfalls. We would hate for more people to lose their lives
unnecessarily if additional hurricanes occur.

So, since things area calm near the USA at this time, I'm going to provide my list of hurricane preparation information for you to review print out for future reference if you live near the Gulf or Atlantic coasts.
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room. A hotel or motel should be well inland and outside of the forecast path of the hurricane. 
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Visit the ATM to make sure you have adequate cash for a week on the road. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings as you are on the go. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. Have clothes for at least a week. No one cares how stylish you are. If you are at a pharmacy, pick up some surgical gloves and, if you don't have them, work gloves. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
  • Put your insurance documents in your safe deposit box or take them with you. This will facilitate filing a claim if you have serious property damage. 
You can get more information from me on Twitter @usweatherexpert.

Between Laura, Isaias and Hanna, we've had more than our share of hurricanes in 2020. While I hope we are done, don't count on it.

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