By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
THIS past Wednesday I was on live radio remote, on KISS96FM at NEMA headquarters, kicking off the “Ready for Hurricane Season with Radiohouse” promotion.
While chatting with my broadcast colleagues from JoyFM, Y98 and 100Jamz, we all shared the same opinion that it made great sense to be proactive this hurricane season, as much as we have been reactive, post storms in the past.
Instead of embracing our affection for “slunkin” as a nation, this hurricane season we are challenging Bahamians far and wide, to be prepared ahead of time – checklist complete, home secured, only thing left to do, would be to ride out the storm and try to keep cool.
IT’S NOT TO LATE
I expect you are reading this column with all the comforts you are used to.
If you are reading this without interruptions in power (not the usual BPL load shedding madness this time of year) phone, water, etc, and it means a hurricane has not graced us with their presence.
That being the case, (REMINDER) you still have time to prepare for the rapidly moving, major hurricane season.
My late mother often said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
In times like this, that is the perfect advice.
Get your supplies ready early.
Water, food, flashlights, portable radios, candles and batteries are just a few of the items you should have on your check list.
(REMINDER) Do not run your generators indoors or it will be your last hurricane. If the hurricane doesn’t get you, carbon monoxide fumes will.
Stay indoors at all times. Running around in the many “mini lakes” that will spring up all over New Providence is suicidal. (REMINDER) Lightning is usually a travelling companion of hurricanes and they are a gruesome twosome and should be avoided at all times.
If you don’t have proper Met Office or Press credentials, you need not be outside.
In other words, keep your behind indoors… if not for your own safety, for the safety of those who would have to rescue you from your idiocy — in the eye of the storm.
(REMINDER) Finally, putting your storm shutters up or duct taping your windows half an hour before the storm hits is comical.
You may as well have a laugh, because your lack of preparation coupled with the wrath of any hurricane will make you cry later.
NO TIME FOR ‘BAHAMIAN TIME’
I think we Bahamians have become accustomed to doing things on “Bahamian Time” for far too long.
Running late for an appointment at eight? That’s okay; most will show up at nine and laugh it off as ‘Bahamian Time.’
Bahamian Time is a crutch that falsely convinces us we have ‘too much’ time to prepare; which leads to socialisation (hurricane planning parties), which leads to procrastination, which leads to major repairs after the storm.
(REMINDER) Repairs which — with the proper preparation — could have been avoided.
Just imagine if the timeframe for hurricanes was similar to that of tornadoes!
Let me explain.
I was performing at a show in Alabama when the phone rang around seven pm.
It was the front desk calling to warn me about a tornado watch. I enquired as to how long I had to prepare, to which the front desk clerk replied -
“None, sir, the tornado is here!”
All I had time to do was to grab my travel documents, my wallet and my rosary and barricade myself in the bathroom.
I stayed in there for two days straight duct taped to the toilet.
I thought the tornado was still passing, lingering and sauntering its way out of town... a whole lot slower to exit than it was to arrive.
Surprisingly, that was not the case, and my life preserving time in the tub became a “road story” for the other three comedians I was touring with.
I guess “Mother Nature” got the best of me on that one.
Don’t let her get the best of you this hurricane season.
Get out there and protect your family, pets, property and most of all yourself.
Now, I must run. I have to get back to my hurricane preparation.
Specifically, I have to figure out how to explain to my wife why there are more cans of libations than canned food.
I better come up with a good one; I don’t know who’s going to ‘howl’ and ‘blow’ worse, this hurricane season, her or the storm?
(REMINDER) And yes, “Jack Daniels” and your beer of choice are must have items on any hurricane list.