Hurricane Alex

Hurricane Alex, the first hurricane of the 2010 season, is predicted to make landfall south of the US-Mexico border. Still, it’s a reminder to stock up and start paying attention again. And to realize that, nearly two years after Ike, Houston still hasn’t recovered completely.

Hurricane Alex, June 29, 2010 Prediction

Hurricane Alex, June 29, 2010 Prediction

Here are some resources and pieces of information:

  • From the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) blog:

    Only those graduate students with housing agreements at the Rice Graduate Apartments or the Rice Village Apartments will be offered on-campus shelter.

    This policy is identical to that of 2009 and the 2008 season that brought us Ike. I still think it’s wrong and a real shame, but at least the policy is being communicated well in advance, unlike in 2008, when the hurricane was so close that Rice’s late announcement prevented graduate students from making other arrangements.

  • Evacuation ZIP codes from the City of Houston. Please do not evacuate the city unless your zip code has been called up for evacuation. In 2005, during hurricane Rita, only three people in Texas died because of the hurricane, but there were 113 indirect casualties caused mainly by the evacuation.
  • Again, from the OISS blog:

    Things you should have available:

    • Three-day supply of nonperishable food and non-electric can opener.
    • Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person, per day).
    • Portable, battery-powered radio or television, and extra batteries.
    • Flashlight and extra batteries.
    • First aid kit and manual.
    • Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, and toilet paper).
    • Matches in waterproof container.
    • Extra clothing and blankets.
    • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils.
    • Photocopies and originals of identification and credit cards (keep ALL immigration documents in Ziplock bags to keep them from water damage.)
    • Cash and coins.
    • Special needs items such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solution, and hearing aid batteries.
    • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
    • Tools, pet supplies, a map of the local area, and other items to meet your unique family needs.
  • Keep in mind that your refrigerator and freezer may be out for days or weeks. Frozen or fresh food won’t help you for very long. Don’t rely on frozen pizza or microwave meals, for example. Canned food is best. If the power goes out, eat your perishable and frozen food first.
  • Cordless phones need electricity to run. Cell phones need to be charged, and after a hurricane, the cell phone networks are often damaged, or the demand is higher than the networks’ capacities. Plain, old wired land line phones are the best.
  • After a while, water needs to be pumped by electricity, so there may be no water pressure. As long as you still have water, you can flush a toilet by using a bucket to quickly pour in enough water, but you don’t want to waste your waster. You don’t have to flush every time you use the toilet.
  • If you have to resort to cannibalism, eat the athletes first. Supposedly they taste the best.

About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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