How prepared are you? Sept. 13, 2005

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's been two years now since Isabel swept through Suffolk. The category 1 hurricane left massive power outages, thousands of downed trees, no water and a generally pungent populace.

When Isabel was coming, my preparation at home included two gallon jugs of water from Farm Fresh, a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a couple apples and a radio.

Watching Ophelia hover out in the Atlantic over the weekend just days after category 5 Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, I started to think about my own situation.

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One would think that after the impact Isabel had on us, people would learn a lesson and be better prepared should it happen again. Maybe they are. I am not.

If Ophelia – which, mercifully, early today appeared to be heading away from us – were to come ashore on the same path as Isabel, I'd be in about equally prepared as I was in 2003. Except for the radio. I can't find it.

That's pretty lame of me, I know. I know better. I wonder how many others are in the same boat as I.

The poll on the Web site this week asks whether you are better prepared for a hurricane now than you were when Isabel hit. Please go vote. I think it would be interesting to see.

The author Kurt Vonnegut was a guest on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night. I was excited to see him. I read all his books when I was in high school and frankly, thought he was dead. While I suppose he had what one would describe as a liberal take on things, it was nonetheless a humorous view of human folly and suffering, if that is possible.

He did not disappoint. In speaking about Katrina and what appears to be an increase in the frequency and strength of hurricanes, global warming, etc., Vonnegut said it appeared to him the earth's immune system was fighting back. Just like your body fights an infection, the earth has had enough of the infection of the human race with its wars, polluting and general destruction of the planet and is fighting back. A little far fetched, perhaps, but an interesting and scary thought.