By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
From now until the end of November, you're on notice: It's hurricane season. According to our research, (which amounted basically to skimming the South Florida daily newspapers' nausea-inducing hurricane guides), we're pretty much doomed. Kaput. History, baby. The experts and their fancy computers have forecast eight Atlantic hurricanes this season, three of them possibly whoppers. The obvious conclusion is as painful as an August sunburn: It's time to kiss your sorry ass goodbye.
That's why New Timesis offering its own brief guide to surviving the coming storms. Hurricanes, that is. Oh, who are we kidding? "Apocalyptic onslaughts" is more like it. We can't keep you alive, but we may yet keep you informed.
The Storms' First Victim: Steve Goldfarb
Meteorologist Dr. William Gray predicts Florida has a better-than-even chance of being pummeled by a hurricane in 2004. And, for the first time this year, the venerable storm expert has selected the spot where he believes a storm is most likely to strike: the modest, ranch-style, Pembroke Pines home of 27-year-old unemployed school bus driver Steve Goldfarb. New Times spoke with Goldfarb recently about the prediction.
NT: What do you think about Dr. Gray's forecast that your home will be the epicenter of hurricane destruction?
Goldfarb: He said that? Really? That sucks. Mind if I bum a smoke? Cool.
NT: How saddened are you to know your home will be destroyed?
Goldfarb: You know what? It sucks, but not really. The homeowner's association is always on my ass about mowing the yard, so I can't wait to see the look on their faces when this goes down. Red-tag that, bitches.
NT: What have you done to prepare for the hurricane season?
Goldfarb: Hey, you mind if I have a sip of that brewski you're bogarting there? Thanks, bro. Anyway, when the cable goes out, I usually cruise over to this dude's crib down the street, where there are these sick hurricane parties. I don't even know the guy's name, but he has this six-foot-high water bong and...
NT: OK. Have you planned your evacuation routes and picked a meeting place for your family members to find each other?
Goldfarb: What? Oh, I guess I'll go surfing when it gets close. If it gets really bad, I'll end up in Freeport. Casinos and babes, know what I mean? And my wife... no problem there. She always seems to be able to find me, you know what I'm saying? By the way, am I getting paid for this?
The Goods You'll Need
After a hurricane, your emergency kit may mean the difference between surviving Mad Max-style in the new world order or dying so slowly that by the end, you can't shoo the swarming flies. Some essentials:
Size AA batteries
Size AAA batteries
Egg, bacon, sausage, and Spam
A decent can opener
Bazooka and shells
Spam, egg, Spam, Spam, bacon, and Spam
Spam, sausage, Spam, Spam, Spam, bacon, Spam, tomato, and Spam
Swaddling the Homestead
Hurricane-proofing your home is critical if you want that aluminum siding and the new outdoor beer tap to survive till Christmas. A few pointers:
Don't wait until the last minute to hurricane-proof your house. Armor plating, razor wire, sandbags, and sump pumps all have to be special-ordered at the Home Depot.
A layer of duct tape on every external inch of your house will help keep it in place, but most experts recommend five to eight coats, alternating between vertical and horizontal.
Under the post-Hurricane Andrew South Florida building code, any protective moat deeper than three feet must also feature a retractable drawbridge with handrails (also a special-order job from the Home Depot).
Sorry, Mr. Green Pinkie, but your azaleas are gonzo.
Pillage Like a Pro
Long the subject of public scorn, looters have gained new respectability in recent years. First there was Detroit in the '60s, then the L.A. riots, and, most recently, that little party Georgie Bush and his boys began in Baghdad. The International Looters' Association provides these tips for first-timers:
Plan in advance. Neophytes often simply walk to the nearest store, whether it's an electronics warehouse or a dog treat bakery, and toss a garbage can through the plate glass. Instead, make up a looting-strike map, identifying large and well-stocked chain stores because, according to the ILA, "they are just run by the man anyway."
To avoid looking like a novice, hoist refrigerators and other large items onto your back and begin walking quickly. Everyone will know that you've stolen this item. No one will believe you're simply moving.
Plan an escape. Many looters forget to look skyward, where TV news 'copters catch their feeble attempts at fleeing. Instead, remember to run where there's cover. If the storm's blown away all places to hide, don't panic. The man is busy elsewhere.
Don't forget to loot the liquor store.
Nothing's worse than waiting in line for a transfusion when you're leaking gallons from that stop sign lodged in your back. Why rely on a blood bank after a bloodbath? Storing the stuff at home is easier than it sounds.