Archives For Hurricanes

From Two Weeks After Ike, More Than 400 Are Still Missing, in today’s Houston Chronicle:

Gail Ettenger made her last phone call at 10:10 p.m. She was trapped in her Bolivar Peninsula bungalow with her Great Dane, Reba. A drowning cat cried outside. Her Jeep bobbed in the seawater surging around her home.

Ettenger, 58, told her friend she was reading old love letters by flashlight. “I think I really screwed up this time,” she said, according to Monroe Burks, Ettenger’s neighbor who had evacuated to Houston.

That was Friday, Sept 12. On Wednesday — 12 days later — her nearly nude body was found face down by a huge debris pile in a remote mosquito-ridden marsh in Chambers County, about 10 miles inland from where her gray beach house once stood.

Isn’t that horrible? I can only imagine the fear that must have run through this lady’s mind during the last moments of her life.

I thought about riding out Ike but changed my mind when I saw that it was moving closer to my part of Texas. I got to thinking about it and figured out that it’s just stupid to sit through a dangerous storm if you can be somewhere else. I asked myself, “What do I have to gain by staying?” NOTHING! It’s not like I’m going to be able to hold my house together as the winds tear it apart! I chickened out and I was 100 miles from the storm’s landfall!

I was watching the news after the evacuation for Gustav. They did a story on the evacuation and how hard it was on people. They took a news crew out to interview various people and they asked them if they thought the government should reimburse people for the cost of evacuating. Astoundingly, most people said yes!

Do people realize that when we talk about the government, we are really talking about our fellow taxpayers? Is it really fair for us to ask our fellow taxpayers to pay for the cost of our evacuation?

We already have a system in place to help those who can’t afford to evacuate so I hardly see the need to reimburse everyone else. If you don’t like evacuating, then I’d suggest moving away from the coast.

I fear for the future of this country as it seems we are just becoming a nation of beggers (individuals and corporations). It’s really getting embarrassing.

So, what are your thoughts? Should we reimburse people for the cost of evacuating?

I just received this email from Discover Card:

Subject: Hurricane Relief Information

I’m very sorry to hear about the recent disaster that affected your community. Please know that Discover Card is here to help you through this difficult time.

We can assist you with locating ATMs, issue emergency PINs to access cash, and provide additional/replacement cards for immediate use. You can also view your statement summary online and make an immediate payment or schedule a payment in advance – whenever it’s most convenient for you. We also have additional services for qualified accounts that may be helpful.

Thanks for being a Discover Cardmember. If there is anything we can do to serve you better, please let us know. Knowledgeable Account Managers are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-668-8767, or you can always visit

Edward Stolbof
Senior Vice President
Customer Service and Engagement
DFS Services LLC

One question:

Where exactly is the “relief” in that email?

It sounds much more like a call for customers to use their cards to rack up some good ol’ American debt. I hope not very many people have to take them up on their offer. Evacuating for a hurricane is a perfect example of why families need an emergency fund.

I’m a Wandering Evacuee

September 16, 2008

My evacuation route reminds me of The Family Circus cartoons of Jeffy running all over the place when his mom sends him on an errand.

The kids and I decided to take a trip up to Kansas to visit family. We were originally going to go to Kansas this weekend anyway for my 20-year high school reunion. But, since my wife is needed at her plant, she couldn’t go with us. We’ll be here until Sunday and then HOPEFULLY we’ll have power back in our town. From what I have read, our kids will be out of school until at least next Monday.

I have heard relatively good news about my house. Several friends and family went by to check it out. We have a “huge” branch in our driveway, some messed up flashing, and a cracked fascia board. WHEW!!!!

Anyway, I should have some time on my hands this week, so I’ll TRY to get back to blogging. Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers have given me some great post ideas… Also, oil is now down to the lower 90’s!!!!!! Can you believe that?

So far we’re not planning to evacuate. Why? Because it would be horrible to try to evacuate with the Houston area evacuating too. That’s what happened with Rita.

Here’s why:

That’s the projected path of Gustav. You can click here to see an updated graphic.

FYI – I realize I’m not the only one impacted by hurricanes. I inserted the red dot with the word “Me” next to it in order to give you a frame of reference as to how close my town is to the storm’s projected path.

Anyway, I hope this isn’t a repeat of Rita.

Fun, fun, fun. I also found out that my daughter’s daycare will be closed tomorrow. Maybe I’ll let her do a guest post.

Source: National Hurricane Center (a daily visit for me during the summer months!)