Hi everybody. Well, I survived. We ended up having to dig in. Leaving was impossible. Let me explain;
At 10pm central on September 21st (2005), this was the forecast (not a direct quote so.....):
Winds 175mph. Gusting to 215. Eye will pass over....., Fort Bend County, ....., ect. The storm will decrease in strength but may increase slightly
beforehand. It may also stall over the Houston metro area for up to 72 hours.
Again, thats my summary, not a direct quote. Now, I live in Fort Bend county. Its touches a county that touches the gulf. That night, the order
went out to do a voluntary evacuation of the county. That morning, Missouri City (in Fort Bend county) also suggested everyone evacuate. Missouri
City lieks to flood. I lived there many years. We deal with it, like an earthquake in California.
Never in their history have evacuations been suggested for these areas. But this thing in its form at that time was going to destroy Fort Bend
Meanwhile, the highways were already gridlocked. Gas stations were already running out of gas. Grocery stores and lumber yards were already out of
EVERY FREAKING THING!
To drive from east Houston to west Houston or north Houston to south Houston in non-rush hour traffic is a very healthy hour. Doing so during that
stretch of time was:
Galveston to south Houston.....4 to 8 hours
south Houston to north Houston....4 to 8 hours
Houston to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Courpus Christi, or New Orleans....not soon enough. And New Orleans is not an option.
Cars dont hold enough gas for a trip like that. They run out of gas, they overheat. The gas stations were running out.
It simply wasnt possible to evacuate unless I wanted to sit this monster out while Im a refugee in my own city. Given the option of dying in my car
or dying at home, I choose to die at home.
Not only did the storm fizzle out, it trended eastward. Where I was, we had three power surges, loss of DirecTV for afew hours, and more limbs and
leaves on the ground then anyone could imagine.
We are rationing our food and arent driving anywhere until Houston can be resupplied. Grocery stores get deliveries almost every day so we just need
to sit tight for afew days.
All in all, Im okay. Houston Mayor Bill White needs to hold a training seminar in New Orleans. He was supurb.
The city is pretty much shut down until Monday. Most schools dont start up again until Wednesday but that fluxes depending on how close or far your
school district is from Hurricane Rita's landfall.
Mayor White wants the 2-3 million people that evacuated to sit tight and come back over a three day period. I understand the logic but he can dream
All in all, given the situation at the time, I dont think anyone over reacted.
I dont think I under reacted before the hurricane went into apocalypse mode. Not many hurricanes go that berserk. And I dont think I made the wrong
decision to stay when it looked like fly or die because of what the situation was at the time.
This was a very good fire drill. The evacuation was a failure but its a start.
Let me explain something, this nation is NOT ready for a WMD attack. Go to the stores right now and get enough non-perishables to last you 14 days.
Get enough freeze dried food that tastes like cardboard to last a year. Get enough plywood to board up your house. Get enough tape to tape the
windows. Get a first aid kit. Two way radios. Batteries. Ect, ect. Firearms and ammo may be needed to. And fuel. Lots of it.
The sky is the limit to what you should get. Your wallet is the limit.
Cities have NO PLAN to evacuate. Houston didnt know how to put a contra-flow plan in process fast enough so residents could drive out in both
directions. I dont think they tried hard enough. In stead of trying to lay countless numbers of orange pilons, they should have posted a cop,
fireman, military soldier, or local volunteer at the entry and exit ramps of the direction you want to shut down. If the people disobey the unarmed
traffic cops, simply have a Humvee pull them over by pointing their gun terret at them, their M16s, or ram them off the road. You dont have to shut
them; just stop them before they cause a head on collision.
Anyway, it will be a real sport watching this city get repopulated.
Had the hurricane did what they forecasted 3 nights ago, an awful lot of people would have died. In a situation like that, you really are on your
When a disaster is in the very beginning stages, thats all the time you have to get ready. By the time the situation goes warm, the local enviroment
is already stressed. By the time its hot, your time to react has passed.
The first half of this decade has been a real learning experience. Has anybody learned anything?
I get to live another day. I learned alot from this episode. Now its time to take this to the next level. We in Houston need to form a disaster
survival team. Any opinions?