Perched high on the 16th floor of the historic Rice Hotel, I am maintaining confidence that Jesse H. Jones knew a thing or two about construction. He built this place in 1911 and it has survived everything which the heavens and man have been able to throw. Interestingly, It was neglect and a wrecking ball that nearly took the building rather than the snarling hand of God. I am confident that the construction style of "like they used to" will foil Hurricane Rita.
As a fomer Reuters photojournalist, I chased hurricanes all over the Gulf Coast, pointing my Ford Explorer towards the hole in the radar that represented the eye of the strorm. I've driven, albeit somewhat insanely, through sideways rain, on the edge of tornados and amongst the apocalypse ruins of destroyed towns and shattered lives. Of course, when the preverbial smoke cleared, citizens vowed to rebuild stronger and more productive communities. Sometimes, a good storm is not unlike a forest fire. It seems that the "old growth" of our communities, or more accurately the paradigms in which we live our daily lives need to be cleared and replaced with new thinking, new habits and new inspiration.
Living steps from the Preston light rail station, the conversations of the New Orleans refugees maintained a consistent theme: "Let's get back and rebuild it better." With Rita, Houston has not only danger with which to contend, but opportunity..
Although I enjoy a flood resistant poisition within my small apartment, I am not minimizing the prepararations required for the expected Category Five hit on the Houston/ Galveston area. Gallons of water, a few cases of leftover military MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) and a good supply of canned ravioli form the core of my storm kit. Spices serve as another essential aspect of my storm supplies. While I have most major spices already, ensuring I am fully stocked will assure that the bland nature of canned or pre-cooked food will be easily negated. Try adding a dash of Caynenne pepper and a Basil to a can of chicken noodle soup.. As Emeril would say "BAM!"
Those in the low lying areas -- get out. Those choosing to stay, grab some canned Chef Boyardee, a bit of fresh cilantro and BAM! -- have a tasty storm.