Are you being told to evacuate ahead of Irene? If so, PLEASE do it!
For those of you in the path of hurricane Irene, I am asking you to seriously pay attention to any orders to evacuate and then do so. While the aftermath of Katrina received a huge amount of media coverage, the enormous destruction that accompanied hurricane Ivan was glossed over.
My family lives along the Gulf coast and has for decades ridden out every hurricane since the 1940s. Never again. Ivan was brutal.
I wish I could link you to the neighborhood forums from the Pensacola News Journal that were active during and after the hurricane. Surprisingly, power lines held for much of the storm and people live-blogged and posted. It was gut-wrenching to read reports from people realizing they were in a world of hurt as the water rose and they realized they were trapped. Emergency vehicles could/would not go out and rescue them. For days afterward, there were posting from friends and relatives searching for the missing and unfortunately, the dead.
Please, if the evac order is given. GO!