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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

Hot air and hurricanes

It seems like this time of the year, we are being warned daily about steps to take should a hurricane threaten the area. While traditionally, hurricanes of note (BIG ones) that have hit the area wait until about September. But, changes in the patterns and predictability of these storms has made them anything but predictable. Since so many Fort Bend County residents are from places where hurricanes and tropical storms are not a threat, forgive the media and local government officials for hammering in the need to “be prepared” should these storms threaten the area.

Officials tell us to purchase non-perishable food ahead of time. Be sure and also purchase a non-electric can opener too (yep, they still make them) because these storms play havoc with electrical service.

Officials tell us to get a substantial amount of bottled water. Be sure and remember that if a hurricane is predicted for the area, to run a full bathtub of tap water and put it in other receptacles as well. It is amazing how fast bottled water disappears from store shelves when a hurricane is predicted. It is also amazing how fast that bottled water can disappear if you don’t plan to have extra water stored for toilet flushing!

There are just a lot of “common sense” tips on planning that anyone who is not familiar with Gulf Coast storms should study now. For those of us who have weathered several of these tropical events the plans may be second nature.

The hot air

It seems like only yesterday, we were all breathing a sigh of relief because local elections and the hot air that goes with incumbent and hopeful politicians had turned into a mild coastal breeze. Well, not for long. Now all those who plan to challenge anyone—be it city, county, state or even on the federal level—are blustering and blowing again in preparation for the 2008 election.

So, when you are making hurricane plans, it might be fun to make a “hot air” plan as well. Some suggestions that come to mind: Have an emergency plan to deal with large hot air masses—read, study and evaluate before taking the wind at face value. Have an emergency escape plan—once you’ve determined who the best candidate is (see above criteria for doing so)—plan to go to the movies, filter all calls with an answering machine and do not answer the door if you see anything that looks red, white and blue with an elephant or donkey in your neighborhood.

Have emergency supplies stocked—lots of pizza, soft drinks and crunchy sweet snacks take the edge off of the political ads that will inundate you in the weeks preceding the election. If you already know who your candidate of choice is—run—don’t walk—to the kitchen for sustenance when the ads appear on the screen. It might behoove you to keep some sort of antacid on hand should you not reach the emergency stash in time.

 

Contact skinnerc1@ev1.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  July 04, 2007