In reflecting back over the past 10 days; and in light that there is a bunch of activity in the Atlantic, I've been thinking about suggestions for future events (which hopefully won't happen).
1. If you notice that everytime you turn on the television, there's a talking head predicting doom and gloom for your area, pay attention. If you hear the word "Category" followed by any numeral and then see your city smack dab in the middle of the path...or even an inch or two either way, start packing. Ultimately, the person most responsible for your safety is you. If you can get your a$$ out of Dodge, do so. Billy, don't be a hero. If you choose to stay, then shut the heck up.
2. If you decide to leave and know of someone who may need help getting out of town, help them.
3. If you are the mayor of the place that's about to get nailed, there just might be a disaster plan in a file somewhere that was prepared by some disaster experts awhile back. Your city spent some good money on this. Find it, dust it off and follow it. And make sure someone gets the people out of the nursing homes.
4. If you are the governor of that state, be sure to place a call to the federal authorities requesting help. Apparently, there's something in the Constitution that prevents them from doing anything until that little formality has been taken care of.
5. If you are the head of a federal emergency organization and you notice a big white whirley thing headed for any coastline of the United States, you might want to clear your calendar for awhile and start working on memos now rather than later. Investing in a bullet-proof vest might be a good idea. You will be the first one to get blamed, so be pro-active. If you haven't received the required call from that state(s), yet you can see trouble coming, maybe pretend you got the call. It's the old "easier to ask for forgiveness later than permission now" kind of thing. Oh yeah. Update your resume.
6. If you are the head of a federal department that is in charge of security for something like, oh, say a homeland, it would be a good idea to start paying attention. You don't want to end up saying something like "no one predicted this" on national television when the entire week before people were predicting it on every news show around the television dial. This will make you look really silly. It will also start to scare people as they will be wondering what else you have been ignoring.
7. If you own a Wal!Mart or gun shop, for heaven's sake, hide the bullets. It would be a good idea to get rid of the guns, too, but I won't hold my breath.
8. If you are Anderson Cooper, we've seen enough flying aluminum siding and road signs. That's getting old.
9. If you are the producer of a news crew, load up the truck with water bottles at least. If you are going to interview someone who is in need of food and water, it's only courteous to help them out. After all, you will be getting some good footage.
10. If you are a celebrity, and you are on a national telethon to raise money to help the victims and the celebrity next to you goes off his nut and starts ranting, do a little soft shoe or tap dance to divert attention away from him/her. If that doesn't work, try faking a seizure, anything to shut him/her up.
11. If you are our two former presidents, you might want to start practicing the words to "On the Road Again" again.
12. If you are a local chapter of a charity that is requesting help at a local evacuation center, please be sure the people answering the phones know what they are doing and don't end up transferring a potential volunteer 6 (yes! 6!) times until she's transferred back to the original person.
13. If you are not in the area being affected and find yourself mesmerized by all that is going on, get a pool together with your friends to guess the exact date and time when the first blame will be placed on FEMA. Encourage the winner to split the pot with the Red Cross or some similar charity.
14. If you reading this, PRAY the forecasters are wrong and there won't be any more storms.