New Times' Hurricane Guide
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 Times is 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.
Bleed into a bag, but carefully, without letting the blood touch air. A deflated two-quart Ziploc works best. Make sure that seal closes green!
Label it with your name, the date and, in block letters, "TAINTED: PLAGUE" to keep your roommates from helping themselves.
Store the crimson between 1 and 6 degrees Celsius. In Fahrenheit, that's like, oh, 70ish.
If disaster strikes and you need a drink, don't swallow the hemoglobin too fast, lest you get a milkshake headache.
Your Way to Start Over
Like numerous deadbeat dads, criminals awaiting trial, and Miriam Oliphant, many South Floridians are planning to fake their own deaths this hurricane season. Experts say it's as simple as stashing a few material possessions among the debris trail -- dental appliances are particularly convincing -- and then hightailing it to the impoverished safety of the Third World.
Most bogus hurricane deaths can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars for a fake passport, a donkey ride into Mexico, and postage stamps to mail clues to the cop who makes it his life's mission to find you.
Forty-two-year-old Delray Beach strip club owner Alan Drews suggests the following: Just before the storm hits, park your car in its path and snooze a little. "Then I'm airborne," he explains. "Say sayonara to my ex-wife and the judge she's sleeping with."
Redemption on the Fly
Afraid of meeting the Almighty when those 140-mile-per-hour winds suck you through the troposphere? Make like Pascal and, at the last minute, cover the bases with these lines.
Christianity: "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret."
Judaism: "The Jews didn't have enough already?"
Islam: "Fortunately, I long ago gave up alcohol. And bacon. And premarital sex. And privacy at airports."
Buddhism: "I gave at Free Tibet."
Taoism: "The essence of a hurricane, like the Tao, is dark and mysterious, having no image or form."
Baha'i: "What did the Muslims say again?"
Atheism: "Well, this shit was fun while it lasted."
Scientology: "The check's in the mail, I swear."
Death by Hurricane
Don't become a statistic! The most common ways hurricanes kill:
2 percent -- Hanging hurricane shutters
7 percent -- Going outside for better cell phone reception
9 percent -- Imitating Dorothy/Wicked Witch death
12 percent -- Spamslides
70 percent -- Choking on beer bong
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.