Late last week and early this week, parts of the northeast were being warned to brace for the arrival of Hurricane Henri. (I live in central Connecticut.) As a result, news outlets — broadcast and online — were selling tons of advertising by sharing hysteria mixed with garden-variety common sense, statements of the screamingly obvious, and helpful survival tips for the cognitively addled.
And so it was that I happened to find, on The Weather Channel online, “5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Hurricane or Tropical Storm”. As a public service, and in the interest of letting you reserve the right to watch the video on your own time, here are those five things (SPOILER ALERT!):
- Don’t stay in rooms near big trees that could topple over.
- Don’t drink tap water until authorities deem it safe.
- Don’t stand or sleep near windows.
- After the storm, don’t touch dangling electrical wires.
- Don’t touch metal fences that could be touching downed power lines.
If you’re anything like me (God help you), you have the nagging feeling that those five — any five things — are likely to fall short of what’s prophylactically necessary to keep the majority of the population alive (or at least un-maimed) in this, The Age of Senselessness, Unreason, and Willful Stupidity. So, in order to help preserve life, limb, and our survival as a species in the face of weather, I humbly submit 5 Other Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Hurricane or Tropical Storm:
- Go skydiving. This isn’t just a matter of serious injury (or worse). Rather, it’s a matter of proximity, convenience, and expense. If you jump out of a plane in one location — and return to terra firma hundreds of miles away from your targeted drop point — how will you get home? Your spouse can’t drop everything and drive from New Jersey to Maine to pick you up. Cab fare would be prohibitive. And it’s a really long walk with a parachute.
- Test out your new golf umbrella. Mary Poppins has already been done twice. ‘Nuff said.
- Replace the roof on your house. The fact that the interior of your house will be flooded notwithstanding, have you ever stood into 80-mile-an-hour winds holding a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood? See #2.
- Take children to the beach. Unless you’re trying to get rid of them, stay home.
- Go out on your Hobie Cat. Choppy seas notwithstanding, see #2 and #3.
Chances are pretty good that some percentage of the population will try all of those things during the next hurricane, just to see if they’re as unadvisable as I’ve suggested here. And that, dear friends, is why we have The Darwin Awards.
Be careful out there.