As recent veteran of a failed attempt to evacuate New Orleans before Katrina hit, I was touched by an email I got from my good friend Eva in Houston. Eva and her wonderful husband Jeff put me and my family up after Katrina innundated New Orleans. Two days ago I left Houston to come work in Baton Rouge, and this spared me from having to try to evacuate Houston at the last minute. I just heard from Eva by email and it appears that her last-minute evacuation attempt was unsuccessful. Here is her first hand report:
"Well, after 5 hours and 12 miles we are back and looking forward to a night in the closet with 2 wild boys, a stinky dog, …and we don’t have any Moet & Chandon …. HELP! Good news is that that’s tomorrow’s plan and tonight we’re getting together with a bunch of friends and grilling our freezer of perishable things ….
I did have wine and champagne to help weather Katrina because I was staying in the lap of luxury at my dad’s condo. But I realize that not everyone has these supplies on hand when a hurricane is approaching. Obviously, batteries and candles are important, but so are calming agents like wine. And, although it seems to go without saying, you want to drink the white wine first in case the power goes out. What you don’t want to do is what Eva’s friend did (again per her email):
"My neighbor’s just called and since 4 this morning have gone 20 miles to Spring so they are headed back and over enthusiastic husband threw everything out of the fridge and freezer so they have NOTHING much less good champagne!"
And, if you are planning to evacuate, leave really early, like when the hurricane is only a measly Category 1 or 2. And for god’s sake don’t start disposing of important provisions before you have to.