Hrairoo’s Guide to Hurricane Etiquette
A hurricane is a terrible thing, but you have the power to make it worse by following these simple rules.
Before the hurricane arrives…
1) Don’t evacuate. Tell the press how you and your family stayed put through the Category 9 hurricane of 1962, and you’re not leaving now.
2) Try to surf in the dangerously elevated waves that precede the storm. This will get you on TV in that little segment right before the end of the half hour. Then they’ll cut back to the anchor, and he’ll be shaking his head with the “that crazy nut” smile on his face. Wouldn’t that be cool?
3) If everyone else evacuates, stay and loot. Life, and especially George Bush, has been unfair to you. This is your only chance to get the high-quality stereo equipment your starving children need to survive.
4) If you must evacuate, wait until the last minute. Complain. Blame the government for the totally unnecessary traffic jam that happens when 4 million people try and leave your city at the same time. Blame George Bush for not having the Barbara Eden-like power to blink you and four-thousand-thousand people into a place that welcomes you unreservedly and isn’t in the path of the next hurricane.
5) If you are a local politician, declare the evacuation a success when 80% of the population has fled. Do not use school buses to evacuate the citizens that remain. Park the buses, police cars, and other municipal vehicles in a place where they are certain to be destroyed.
6) If you are a governor, hold on to every bit of power you possess. If the federal government offers to help, treat the offer like an invasion attempt by the Red Chinese. If you are asked to make a decision, tell them you’ll get back to them tomorrow.
7) If you are a Democrat in the House or Senate, do nothing. Your job is to rejoice when bad things happen to America. Nothing has happened yet. Hang loose. Pretend you could have handled Iraq better. Pretend you have some control over the Supreme Court vacancy.
8) If you are the media, rub your hands together and lick your lips. This is what you live for. Deploy rain-slickered reporters onto abandoned beaches. Interview a weather geek who will gladly explain what “storm surge” is. Repeat this piece hourly. Break into popular programs every time the storm moves five miles closer to land. If you are FOX, in lieu of popular programs, break into “The War at Home” or “American Dad.”
While the hurricane is striking…
1) If you didn’t evacuate, hunker down. Maybe it won’t be that bad.
2) If you were looting, stop. You’ll have plenty of time after the storm passes. If it was worth risking your life to steal a vacuum cleaner, you could have broken into the vacuum store last week.
3) If you are 1000+ miles away from the storm, place calls to relatives in the storm area every three minutes. Their phone lines can take it.
4) If you are in the media, continue running the storm surge piece every hour. Rotate your rain-slickered reporters from beach to beach, making it look like they’re in danger, while not actually putting them in danger. Find a car in a tree. This is gold. If necessary, place a car in a tree.
After the hurricane strikes…
1) If you did not evacuate, camp out on anything that is above water, and wait for help to arrive. Your city is under water, so you’ll have to be reached by boat or helicopter. No boats can be brought to your city, because the roads are impassable for 100 miles. No helicopters are nearby. They were all evacuated to avoid destruction in the storm. By your estimation, and this is the same estimation that figured staying in the city was a grand idea, rescue should arrive in an hour. Maybe an hour and a half.
2) When rescuers arrive, refuse to leave your home. You made it this far, didn’t you?
3) If you evacuated, ask to be let back into town immediately. It’s your right, dammit.
4) If you are a local politician, blame everyone but yourself. Go on a whirlwind tour. Revel in the media spotlight, because hell, any publicity is good publicity. Estimate the death toll at 100,000. Trust the media not to challenge your made-up number. Move your family to a very nice neighborhood in Texas. Make a covert call to Carmax and see if they can work you a deal on a few thousand water-damaged buses and police cars.
5) If you are the governor, blame everyone but yourself. If you’re a little lacking in the brains department, trust the media to gloss over it. Don’t allow the feds into YOUR state. They’re just trying to steal your magic bag.
6) If you are a black political leader, suggest that the storm rescue was slow. Suggest that the reason it was slow is the skin color of many of the victims. Use innuendo. Don’t present facts. The message is: “We all know white people want black people to die.” Trust the media to put the message out often. Blame the local mayor. If the local mayor is black, blame the governor. If the governor is a Democrat, blame George Bush.
7) If you are an insane black political leader, suggest that whitey done blowed up the levees.
8) If you are a Democrat in the House or Senate, then this is your chance to shine. The American people have chosen to take all grown-up decisions out of your hands, so the only thing that really makes you smile is a pile of dead Americans. Blame them on George Bush. It is your only function.
9) If you are the media, cancel all programming. Thirty solid minutes of footage can be looped and shown in perpetuity. Add the occasional storm surge piece to taste. Do NOT blame George Bush. You are neutral observers. Interview only people who will blame George Bush.
10) If you are George Bush, accept all blame. Think of a very large number. Triple it. Offer to send this much taxpayer money into one of the most corrupt cities and states in our union. Repeat this exercise until people stop blaming you, or the country is bankrupt. Whichever comes first. YOu may not rebuild New Orleans, but you’re gonna build Ray Nagin a damn nice house.
11) If you are the director of FEMA, this is what people meant when they told you it was a thankless job. It doesn’t matter that not one of the idiots blaming you could have done the job better. This is all your fault. Except to the degree that it is George Bush’s fault for appointing you.
12) If the storm wasn’t that bad, blame George Bush for forcing you to evacuate for no reason.
Remember. The wind and rain are caused by nature. The rest of the disaster is up to you.