Since hurricane Irene is going to hit the Northeast, I thought I'd share some of my expertise as a longtime Florida native and hurricane survivor. No need to thank me.
1. Familiarize yourself with the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, summarized here:
Category 1: wind, rain, lightning, hail, tornadoes, power outages
Category 2: tsunamis, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria
Category 3: Al-qaeda wishes they could do this much damage
Category 4: Wrath of God
Category 5: Apocalypse
2. In the aftermath of a major hurricane, there is frequently a breakdown in law and order. New Yorkers will likely not notice any changes. Other new englanders should arm themselves. Wait.....you guys are into gun control, aren't you? In that case, just give all your worldly possessions and/or anal virginity to the first person who asks.
3. If you are stranded in a disaster area, don't panic. FEMA will come to the rescue just like they did in New Orleans after Katrina.
4. If you are evacuating before the storm arrives, make sure to bid farewell to your home, as you will never see it again.
5. If you live in a low-lying coastal area and are refusing to evacuate, you are about to win a Darwin award. Please leave your address with the national guard so that they can recover your remains.
6. It is advisable to have emergency supplies ready if you are not evacuating. Suggested supplies include several pounds of beef jerky; bottled water; first aid kit consisting of a bottle of aspirin, a piece of gauze, and a rusty razor blade; portable gas powered generator (fuel not included); assortment of knives, axes, or spears to facilitate defense from marauding bands of cannibals; complete set of encyclopedias in order to restart civilization.
7. Before the hurricane strikes, secure your home from wind damage by parking the aircraft carrier USS George Bush (CVN 77) in front of your home. The carrier's bulk will shield your property from flying debris, and it's nuclear reactors will be useful in case the power goes out.
8. Stay tuned to local news broadcasts to determine how frightened you should be.
9. Many celebrities will mention how upset they are about your plight. Do not badger them by asking for more concrete assistance such as food, water, or shelter. They don't actually ca-- er, I mean they have prior commitments which prevent them from leaving their homes at this time.
10. During a major storm, the Internet will likely not be accessible. Make sure you read any important, life-saving tweets before the storm hits.
11. During the storm, pray. Promising to become a member of the clergy if you live is especially effective.
12. VERY IMPORTANT: do not attempt to contact President Obama for assistance. You may disturb his golf game.