If you’re in the cone of uncertainty, you’re at risk. Hurricane forecasts are uncertain, and this uncertainty is graphically represented by the cone of uncertainty around the central “best guess” forecast positions.
Our friends and neighbors in NOLA, and residents all over the entire Gulf Coast are in that cone right now, and I know from experience what that’s like. Trust me, it’s not comfortable, to say the very least. Watching, waiting, wondering when and if you should act, wondering if you can afford the expense, trying to play it safe and not get caught in the last minute frenzy but also not wanting to spend money and resources you probably can’t afford if you don’t have to.
So, if you’re not in that place, if you have the luxury of having being able to think about something else, what can you do?
For one thing, if you have room in your house and you live close to the Gulf Coast, call your friends in the strike zone and let them know you’ve got room for them if they need it.
But no matter where you live, realize this much is certain:
Realize that someone, whether they are your friends or not, is going to get hit. Realize that Jamaica and the surrounding islands are being torn up by Gustav as you read this, realize especially that Cuba is almost sure to suffer a devastating storm surge, no matter what. Realize that after that, Gustav will sit and recover, then keep on coming and wreak more damage, closer to home.
Realize that right now is the time to make your online donations, buy groceries for the food bank shipment, look up who in your community is putting together the truckloads of clothing and food and water, and if no one is, then maybe you could start.
Just do it. Because it’s certain that people, whether it’s your friends and neighbors or not, need that help as soon as it’s humanly possible to get it to them.
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