WhiteSites Blog

What I learned from Hurricane IKE

Posted on Sep 16, 2008 by Paul White

We all remember Hurricane Katrina, and how it wrecked New Orleans.  I distinctly remember how Houston reacted to Hurricane Rita which landed a little east of Houston just a couple weeks after Katrina.  There was a mass panic in the city,  I-45 was backed up for miles.  What would normally be a 4 hour drive to dallas would take you 18+ hours if you were lucky.  Many ran out of gas sitting in gridlock traffic.  Very few people stayed behind. 

In my opinion people ignored the facts that Katrina was a CAT 5 and hit New Orleans which sits below sea level.  Houston sits a good 10 Meters + above sea level.  I understand people leaving Galveston, but not Houston.  Of course Thanks to CNN and other networks over dramatizing the entire Katrina thing, People in Houston freaked out.  Of course when they returned, they found that there was no damage to their houses.  Many people boarded up their homes, spending $100's in plywood. 

Now jumping up to 2008.  Here we are in Houston and another hurricane is coming our way.  This one turns out to be a direct hit on Houston, going right up I-45.  100+ MPH winds.  I live in Pearland about 25 minutes south of Downtown Houston.  We also took a direct hit from the storm.  We considered leaving, but I figured this was only going to be 100 MPH winds and not a big deal. I was right and wrong.

First of all when a hurricane like this hits there are a few events that will definately happend.
1. You are going to loose electricity ( depending on how bad maybe for weeks )
2. You are going to loose water ( electricty is needed to pump the water, and run the purification plants )
3. You won't be able to get gasoline ( electricy is needed to pump gas )
4. You will most likely loose cable and internet ( which many of use value more than food and water )

How to prepare for a hurricane

1. If you are worried about flying debre, and the winds are going to be Cat 3 or greater ( 115 MPH ), board up your windows.
2. Fill your tank with gas.  Once power goes out you won't be able to get gas.  Make sure you have enough gas to get out of town.
3. Remove stuff from your yard. ( your kid's Big wheel, will go through your neighbor's window if you leave it out ).
4. Get plenty of canned foods, and bottled water.
5. If you plan on staying in your house during the storm, get a generator.  As if you are without power for several weeks you will want some way to run your refridgerator and a small Air Conditioner so you can sleep at night.  1 Gallon of gas will run a honda Generator for about 8 hours at 1000 watts output.  Make sure you have plenty of gas cans so you can refuel your generator.

How I prepared.

Did I board up my windows, No.  Did I leave town, No.  Did I fill my car with gas, Yes. 

The Storm.

Laying in bed and hearing gusts, that sound like they are going to rip your roof off is terrifying.

What I would do differently.

Next time I am leaving town.  Too stressful.

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