Newcomers — How to Prepare for Tropical Weather Louisiana Style
Now, I know there are a lot of people moving into the Lake Area from all over the world and it dawned on me that, people who did not grow up along a coast may not know what to do to prepare for tropical weather, so here are a few things I've learned.
Back when I was of draft age (and there was a draft) I was courted by the Marine Corp and the Navy. The Marines offered to send me to school and, when I got out, I'd be a second lieutenant. Well, I started asking around and a friend of mine who had served in Viet Nam told me, "If you do that, you need to know that, as far as regulars go, second lieutenants are bumbling morons who know nothing about real life. Find yourself a "lifer", preferably a Master Sergeant who is a career person. They will keep you alive." Well, if I might give somewhat the same advice.
Find yourself a Cajun. If you can find an old Cajun, that's great. I'll also tell you that, the thicker is accent is, the better hands you're in. Go down to Cameron and make friends with the folks there. those are some tropical storm vets down there and they really know their stuff. So. Rule number 1: Find a Cajun and do exactly as they tell you.
A word of warning about your Cajun:There is a Cajun term that means "crazy." Be sure that the Cajun you attach yourself to is not "coyoun." There is no crazy like "coyoun" crazy. Take my word for this. If your Cajun is excited because the flood water is perfect for diving off the roof of the house, you've landed yourself a coyoun.
Now that you've got your Cajun, it's time to go shopping. Generally speaking, men make the best emergency supply shoppers. Now, I'm not being chauvinistic here, it's a fact that men are hunter/gatherers and when there is a tropical storm to prepare for, men go into deep survival mode. The big difference is that, while women may be great at stocking up on things the family can use to survive, men, because of our advanced immaturity, make great emergency shoppers.
Shopping for a few days of staying in the house is right up a man's alley. Men are not very good party planners unless, that is, what you want is a hurricane party. Again, mom may bring home everything you need to survive, but men become little boys in such instances. In other words, we don't overlook the chips and Little Debbie aisles. You'd be surprised how much Little Debbie contributed to our survival when we were living in the studios during Rita.
You should stock up on some really essential items. You should have plenty of liquids. I suggest a six-pack a day per person. You'll need that to get through all the boring hours you're going to spend looking out the window thinking, "And how's this different from a heavy rainstorm?"
When it comes to food, it's every person for themselves. People seem to shop differently when a storm is coming. Now, let me ask you something. Is there any excuse for Vienna Sausage? People make fun of Spam like it's going out of style, but let a storm develop in the Gulf and the next thing you know, there are half a dozen cans of Vienna Sausage in the pantry. Unless it's truly an emergency, those cans will be there for years. Who eats Vienna Sausage? I don't think they are from Vienna and nobody who ever tasted Rabideaux's would ever call those slightly vulgar looking things sausage.
Folks around here tend to feast when a storm is coming. Every family has it's favorite "storm" dish. It can be anything from gumbo to grilled steaks, but one thing is for certain; if you ride out a storm with a real Cajun, you're not going to run out of food. Hell, they'll invite company over to ride out the storm with them and, the next thing you know, there is a 24 hour party going on and no one gives a damn what the weather is doing.
Hey, we could be in for some wind and rain, but the way this storm is shaping up, that's about all we'll get. Stay Calm and Listen to 92-9 The Lake. We'll keep you posted on the storm and your Cajun will keep you safe. Around here a tropical storm is just an excuse for a great party. Stay safe and enjoy it!