I have intended all my posts to be impersonal but this new addiction to OS must be fed so I am bending my privacy rule to explain that I will likely be off-line for a few days. Hurricane Ike is coming this way…only hours to go as I post this.
Now, before any one gets overly concerned, I’m more than 50 miles inland and at little personal risk. My main risks are damage to my house and days without electricity during the hot, humid Gulf Coast summer (ugh).
People in Galveston are the ones you need to worry about. Look up the history of the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. Thousands were killed. Bodies of people floated onto the beaches for a while after the storm.
The evacuation seems to have gone well these last two days so that should not happen this time. The authorities have been as blunt as possible. Because Galveston may get covered during the storm surge, they literally communicated that staying in some areas is “certain death.” However, what is also good this time is that people like me who do not need to evacuate are staying put which makes it easier for the folks who have to evacuate to get out of danger.
Some observations about risk trade-offs:
I picked the location of my current house for reasons other than hurricanes but after Hurricane Rita a few years ago almost hit here, I realized I made a good decision out of luck. But, there are other downsides to where I live like traffic and less access to recreation on the coast.
My house has an open design with lots of windows. Not so good if the goal is to hide in an interior room but will be helpful during a period of no electricity to let light in and some breeze. The design is somewhat consistent with being inland where the winds are less. This design closer to the coast would cause me to evacuate.
I live on the opposite side of Houston from family members so if I need to get across town to help, it may be hard. But, if they get into trouble and need a place to go, then they can come here. Is it better to have safety in numbers or to diversify?
When I had this house built, I intentionally got a gas stove instead of electricity. I did this mainly because actual fire burning has an aesthetic quality. But, I also wanted to be able to cook if the electricity is out but the gas is on. This was a conscious trade-off. We’ll see if it pays off.
I do have responsibilities to the company I work for and the people that I manage. After the storm, I will likely spend more time keeping up with the status of employees rather than family at other places around town…unless something bad happens to family and then I will delegate the work responsibility to someone else, putting that person into the same trade-off.
This is the first hurricane where I have a Blackberry. So, depending on how wireless networks hold up, I can still keep up with some of my work responsibilities even if the post-hurricane situation makes it hard to get to work and for the office to have power.
I also have a gun (thankfully, legal here) although the odds of looters coming to my neighborhood and then my specific house are tiny.
Anyway, I expect to comment on others' posts today while we have power because once everyone hunkers down; there really isn’t a lot to do. And, this OS thing is just so damn addictive, it beats watching the news repeat the same warnings over and over again.