Hurricane Irene: Be Prepared (And Please Don’t Blame The Gays)
Since New Orleans isn’t directly in the path of Hurricane Irene, I haven’t heard as much discussion about the storm and all that she threatens to disrupt as I normally would. But of course, Irene is likely to cause a lot of damage, and at the very least, she’ll put a serious damper on people’s weekend plans along the East Coast.
One of the biggest disruptions is undoubtedly the official dedication of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 11am — almost exactly the time at which Irene will be giving D.C. her most powerful stink-eye. It looks as if the storm will be downgraded to a category 2 by then, but that’s more than enough to flood roadways, knock out power, and force cancellation of all outdoor events.
All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades.
Which is ridiculous for a couple of reasons — not least of which is that he makes the Southern Decadence parade sound super-secret, when in fact, it’s widely known as one of the biggest gay events in town, and possibly in the South. Ugh, that man is such a drama queen.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, right: wackjobs like Rabbi Yehuda Levin have already blamed this week’s East Coast earthquake on gays, claiming that god or G-D or yahweh or whatever you wanna call her has said in the Talmud that “You have shaken your male member in a place where it doesn’t belong. I too, will shake the earth.” But given the fact that Irene is set to interrupt the dedication of the nation’s largest and most visible civil rights memorial, are Levin, Hagee, and their ilk going to start blaming African Americans for the storm, too? Or maybe just LGBT African Americans? I’m happy to share the responsibility, I just need to know whom to invite to my debauched, hurricane invocation ceremony of witchcraft and sodomy. (Bring a covered dish, y’all.)
On a serious note, though: if you’re in the path of Hurricane Irene and want to evacuate, don’t do as I did and leave one of your pets behind. Yesterday my friend, Jimbo, send out some great advice and links about storm preparedness. Have a look:
If you have to evacuate, try to take your pets with you if possible. It may not always be safe to get back to your house to retrieve your pets following the disaster. A shelter for pets may be collocated near a shelter for people.
The best source of information for pet preparedness is from Ready.gov.
For animals other than your dog or cat, details about equine, amphibian, parrot, and other animal preparedness tips can be found at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “Saving the Whole Family” publication (PDF document) located here.
For the backyard flock or small animal herd owner, try to have one or more collapsible wire dog crates or plastic dog crates ready for temporary indoor housing and/or evacuation of multiple fowl or small mammals like goats.
Local, state and Federal officials are working to ensure the safety of pets and companion animals who evacuate with their owners.
Public Shelters cannot always accommodate for pets to stay with people. Check in your local community for shelter locations that can accommodate pets.
If a pet shelter is located near a human shelter, pet owners may be allowed to visit and care for their pets during designated times.
The types of animals for which your community may provide emergency shelter may vary. Dogs, cats, and other household pets are most commonly accommodated, and some communities may make provisions for other kinds of animals, including horses and small livestock.
Pet owners should be prepared to provide the following information to pet shelter workers if possible: name; species and breed; sex; color; distinctive markings; age; microchip identification number; vaccination records; health conditions and required medication.
Other useful items to bring to a shelter are:
· a clear and current photo of you with your pet
· an extra collar, leash, and/or harness that fits
· favorite toys
· any medications and special diets for their pets
· information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets
· and if possible a pet carrier/kennel large enough for your pet to sleep in comfortably.