By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
For the second time in too many years, Houston faces the worst kind of hurricane season the kind that follows a serious hit.
The anxiety level leaps just a little bit higher as June rolls in during one of these years; memories of shocking visuals, huge annoyance at power outages, the sudden obsessive need for ice, they're all fresh in our minds.
The experts say 2009 will be a "normal" hurricane season, meaning not so bad, really. Which, given the track record most of these experts have demonstrated, is even more cause for worry.
Every company under the sun that could conceivably sell an item even tangentially related to hurricanes has been filling reporters' e-mail boxes with hair-raising lists and guides of what to do to get ready for this year's onslaught. (Mostly, it involves purchasing their product at some point.)
For instance, the folks at Lowe's are telling reporters they are "available ANYTIME and ANYWHERE to help," including "in-store and in-studio interview opportunities or demonstrations...[and] photos or b-roll of customers stocking up on hurricane-prep items."
(Pshaw to that the crusading journalists of Houston will shoot their own footage of people buying plywood and water, as they do every year, without depending on corporate handouts, thank you very much!)
FEMA, too, is offering tons of tips and lists and information, much of it describing a pleasant fantasy world where storm victims easily fill out a few forms, assisted by an eager-to-please federal employee, and then wait a week or two before receiving a check that covers everything it should. (We think FEMA should go all-out in these guides and also describe the free blow jobs and steaks they must also offer in the world where things work like they describe.)
But forget them. We've put together the only hurricane guide you'll need this year. We've got tips, we've got lessons learned from Ike (The Bastard), we've even got a page for kids just so the li'l tykes can get scared shitless too.
So dive in. And start worrying.
Our 2009 Hurricane Guide: