Hurricane Preparedness

By: Patrap , 6:15 AM GMT on May 26, 2009




It's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one.

Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many and their families.










Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues



Your Evacuation Plan


Disaster Supplies Kit


NOAA Alert Weather Radio's




History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.




HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS



Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:

*
What are the Hurricane Hazards?
*
What does it mean to you?
*
What actions should you take to be prepared?

Hurricanes and Your Health and Safety


* The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
* State and local health departments may issue health advisories or recommendations particular to local conditions. If in doubt, contact your local or state health department.
* Make sure to include all essential medications -- both prescription and over the counter -- in your family's emergency disaster kit.


* Hurricanes, especially if accompanied by a tidal surge or flooding, can contaminate the public water supply. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink.
* In the area hit by a hurricane, water treatment plants may not be operating; even if they are, storm damage and flooding can contaminate water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of the municipal water supply.
* If your well has been flooded, it needs to be tested and disinfected after the storm passes and the floodwaters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to your local or state health department.

Water Safety

* Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
* If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
* If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
* If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Food Safety

* Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
* Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
* Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling; leakage; punctures; holes; fractures; extensive deep rusting; or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
* Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:
o Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
o Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
o Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
o Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
o Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
+ place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
+ place in a freshly-made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
* Air dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
* If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
* Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
* Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.
* Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
* Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air dry.

Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

* If you will be without power for a long period:
o ask friends to store your frozen foods in their freezers if they have electricity;
o see if freezer space is available in a store, church, school, or commercial freezer that has electrical service; or
o use dry ice, if available. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a ten-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Use care when handling dry ice, and wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
* Your refrigerator will keep foods cool for about four hours without power if it is unopened. Add block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity will be off longer than four hours.
* Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still "refrigerator cold," or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals.
* To be safe, remember, "When in doubt, throw it out." Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Sanitation and Hygiene

It is critical for you to remember to practice basic hygiene during the emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected:

* before preparing or eating
* after toilet use
* after participating in cleanup activities; and
* after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.

If there is flooding along with a hurricane, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.

If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals), and do not allow children to play with floodwater-contaminated toys that have not been disinfected. You can disinfect toys using a solution of one cup of bleach in five gallons of water.

Immunizations

Outbreaks of communicable diseases after hurricanes are unusual. However, the rates of diseases that were present before a hurricane may increase because of a lack of sanitation or overcrowding in shelters. Increases in infectious diseases that were not present before the hurricane are not a problem, so mass vaccination programs are unnecessary.

If you have wounds, you should be evaluated for a tetanus immunization, just as you would at any other time of injury. If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a doctor or health department determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

Specific recommendations for vaccinations should be made on a case-by-case basis, or as determined by local and state health departments.

Mosquitoes

Rain and flooding in a hurricane area may lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. In most cases, the mosquitoes will be pests but will not carry communicable diseases. It is unlikely that diseases which were not present in the area prior to the hurricane would be of concern. Local, state, and federal public health authorities will be actively working to control the spread of any mosquito-borne diseases.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings, and wear clothes with long sleeves and long pants. Insect repellents that contain DEET are very effective. Be sure to read all instructions before using DEET. Care must be taken when using DEET on small children. Products containing DEET are available from stores and through local and state health departments.

To control mosquito populations, drain all standing water left in open containers outside your home.

Mental Health

The days and weeks after a hurricane are going to be rough. In addition to your physical health, you need to take some time to consider your mental health as well. Remember that some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression, or lethargy are normal, and may go away with time. If you feel any of these symptoms acutely, seek counseling. Remember that children need extra care and attention before, during, and after the storm. Be sure to locate a favorite toy or game for your child before the storm arrives to help maintain his/her sense of security. Your state and local health departments will help you find the local resources, including hospitals or health care providers, that you may need.

Seeking Assistance after a Hurricane

SEEKING DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media sources for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. The following section provides general information about the kinds of assistance that may be available.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE: Direct assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations. These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

THE FEDERAL ROLE: In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.

Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a �Major Disaster� for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.

Coping after a Hurricane Everyone who sees or experiences a hurricane is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster �second hand� through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of the affected area may provide crisis counseling assistance.

Minimize this emotional and traumatic experience by being prepared, not scared and therefore you and your family will stay in control and survive a major hurricane.

SIGNS OF HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Difficulty communicating thoughts.
* Difficulty sleeping.
* Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
* Low threshold of frustration.
* Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
* Limited attention span.
* Poor work performance.
* Headaches/stomach problems.
* Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
* Colds or flu-like symptoms.
* Disorientation or confusion.
* Difficulty concentrating.
* Reluctance to leave home.
* Depression, sadness.
* Feelings of hopelessness.
* Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
* Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
* Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

EASING HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow, and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.
* Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
* Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event or be frustrated because you feel you cannot help directly in the rescue work.
* Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.
* Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
* Spend time with family and friends.
* Participate in memorials.
* Use existing support groups of family, friends, and religious institutions.
* Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your disaster supplies kits and updating your family disaster plans.





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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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66. Patrap
10:39 PM GMT on June 05, 2009
WW-2 D-day Forecasts
Listen in RealAudio


On the gray dawn of Monday, June 5th, 1944, rain slashed into the German bunkers and large waves pounded the beaches of France. This was the morning originally chosen for the Allied invasion of Europe, but the Allies postponed the invasion by 24 hours. This decision saved the Allied forces from certain destruction in the English Channel.

Six forecasters working in three different teams were responsible for the D-Day forecasts. The American team used an analogue method that compared the current weather with past conditions. Their forecast was overly optimistic and the British Admiralty and the British Meteorological Office urged delay. They were aided by the brilliant Norwegian theoretician Sverre Petterssen who used high altitude observations in his forecasts.

In the early hours of June 5th, under stormy skies of England, the forecasters advised General Eisenhower that a very short break in the weather a day later would allow the invasion to go ahead. On Tuesday, June 6th, under barely tolerable conditions, the largest amphibious landing force ever put together landed on the beaches of Normandy.

Ironically the German meteorologists were aware of new storms moving in from the North Atlantic, but they had decided that the weather would be too bad to permit an invasion attempt. The Germans were caught completely off guard. Their high command had relaxed and many officers were on leave; their airplanes were grounded; their naval vessels absent.

This marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe and it depended on what were arguably the three most critical forecasts in history -- two successful ones by the Allies and one failure by the Germans.
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65. Patrap
10:36 PM GMT on June 05, 2009
New Orleans
World War II Museum to commemorate D-Day all weekend long

by The Times-Picayune
Friday June 05, 2009, 2:21 PM


Patriotic music, panel discussions, re-enactments, swing dancing and a special commemorative cake will be among the offerings Saturday and Sunday at the National World War II Museum to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

The free events will run Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside and outside the museum at 945 Magazine St. A schedule is available at the museum's Web site, www.nationalww2museum.org.

D-Day veterans Tom Blakey, Jim Livaudais and Mike Mervosh will tell their stories, and the American Belles, a trio patterned on the Andrews Sisters, will sing patriotic songs of the 1940s. Machines that helped the Allies win the war, including a Sherman tank and a Jeep, will be on display, and visitors will be able to learn about parachute-making and the building of Higgins boats, the landing craft that, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, played a key role in the Allied victory.

These events will be free, and World War II veterans will be admitted free to see the museum's exhibits.
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64. Patrap
4:07 PM GMT on June 05, 2009



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62. Patrap
8:27 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Spookie ..LOL
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61. reeldrlaura
8:27 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Yowsa, how 'bout them nine inch nails????
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60. Patrap
8:16 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Final fight in Kung Fu: The Movie between David Carradine and Brandon Lee.

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59. reeldrlaura
8:14 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Indeed. Wish I had the whole Kung Fu series on DVD now.
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58. Patrap
8:13 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
He was a cool cat. I'll miss him.
Witty too.
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57. reeldrlaura
8:11 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
I know he's had issues in the past, but I just don't see him doing it that way if he was going to. Guess I've spent too much time in Asia! LOL! Gonna be lots of questions if he didn't leave a note!!
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56. Patrap
8:08 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Ive been to the Pacific ..

I know lots betta ways to er,..off myself.

So sad..he did a Interview in 04 about how he was suicidal.

He may has said.."F"..it.


David Carradine spoke of suicide wish before his death in Bangkok hotel

In a 2004 interview which may have foretold his death, Carradine said: "I remember one time sitting in the window of the third or fourth floor of the Plaza Hotel for about an hour, thinking about just tipping off. And that was at a time when I was having more fun than you could imagine.

"I just thought, 'Who the ---- cares, man? Why don't I just split?' Of course I didn't, so there you go."


The actor, star of cult 1970s television series Kung Fu, said he had also considered shooting himself.

"Look, there was a period in my life when I had a single action Colt 45, loaded, in my desk drawer. And every night I'd take it out and think about blowing my head off, and then decide not to and go on with my life. Put it back in the drawer and open up the laptop and continue writing my autobiography or whatever. But it was just to see."
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55. reeldrlaura
8:04 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
Nice pic, Pat. He's gonna be missed. Currently doubting the "suicide" theory. WHO hangs themself naked, in a chair......in Bankok????
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54. Patrap
3:18 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
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53. Patrap
3:14 PM GMT on June 04, 2009
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52. Patrap
2:52 AM GMT on June 04, 2009
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51. Patrap
9:27 PM GMT on June 03, 2009
http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/shuttleferry




[As you might have been able to guess, access to the Internet can get spotty as you're hopping from airfield to airfield all across the country. This is the first of two posts I wrote along the way, but wasnt able to post.]

All together we've got four NASA pilots flying the SCA 747 this time; Charlie Justiz, Frank Marlow, Jack Nickel and SCA Chief Pilot, Jeff Moultrie. These guys are former military aviators and are based out of Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. (We also have one more SCA pilot, Bill Brocket, who's based out of Dryden. He wasn't able to make this trip.) Together, these four have logged a whole lot of hours of flight time in everything from shuttle training planes to T-38 jets to the Super Guppy. They definitely know what they're doing.

I found out that the number of SCA refueling stops, like this one at Lackland, depends on the weight of the orbiter on top and the weather along the way, but the carrier must stop to refuel at least once on its trip to Kennedy. During a normal flight, the 747 can use 20,000 pounds of fuel an hour. With Atlantis on its back, the SCA uses twice as much!

While we had some time here in San Antonio, I had a chat with NASA pilot, Charlie Justiz. I wanted to hear what he had to say about what it takes to fly a 747 with a shuttle strapped to your back.

Here's a piece of my conversation with Charlie.


How to Fly With a Shuttle Strapped to Your Back (NASA, Space Shuttle, 6/2/09)



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50. Patrap
9:11 PM GMT on June 03, 2009
Im glad you found the info useful, and also the sharing of our post K experience robinvtx1215.

Were all in the same Water..,with Families and Dreams and Hope for a Better future.
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49. robinvtx1215
9:05 PM GMT on June 03, 2009
http://www.awesome80s.com/Awesome80s/Tech/Nature/Disasters/Hurricanes/83Aug18-Alicia.asp


I found this website, as I sat here thinking about when I was 24 yrs old and Alicia came to Houston, we didnt know a thing about hurricanes. and I dont remember an evacuation or getting prepared, except someone told me to fill up the bathtub. no electric for days. I applaud your website as it helped me days before Ike and I applaud your posts you made after Katrina.
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48. Patrap
8:25 PM GMT on June 03, 2009
Thanx for the Link to that Lowercal..
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47. LowerCal
7:49 PM GMT on June 03, 2009
Hi Pat. This link came in my email today and it lines up nicely with the subject of your blog entry - AARP’s Operation Emergency Prepare: Plan for Disasters, Hurricane, Tornado, Fire, Flood, Earthquake. I thought I'd post it here for those who might be interested in helping a neighbor prepare.
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42. Patrap
5:10 PM GMT on June 01, 2009
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41. Patrap
4:57 PM GMT on June 01, 2009
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40. Patrap
10:13 AM GMT on June 01, 2009
..we had Season's In the Sun..


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39. surfmom
9:45 PM GMT on May 31, 2009
Quoting Patrap:
Men and Women both have scoffed at the Sea for Decades and centuries.

But in the end,in due time,the Sea comes ashore and takes her toll.

And all that is left is the mourning.

Be prepared and heed the Warnings from your Local NWS and Emg Mgrs.
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38. Patrap
8:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2009
Men and Women both have scoffed at the Sea for Decades and centuries.

But in the end,in due time,the Sea comes ashore and takes her toll.

And all that is left is the mourning.

Be prepared and heed the Warnings from your Local NWS and Emg Mgrs.
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36. Patrap
2:51 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
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35. Patrap
2:46 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
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34. Patrap
2:40 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
33. Patrap
1:59 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
from Experiments In Film Volume 1 - from Wings [1927]

In the movie David Armstrong [Richard Arlen] had stolen the airplane from the Germans, and was trying to escape. He is excited to see the "Shooting Star" American plane from his hometown rival Jack Powell [Charles 'Buddy' Rogers]. They trained and flew together and both loved the same girl. Jack doesn't see that it is David in the stolen airplane, and thinking the escaping plane is the German enemy, Jack shoots down and kills his friend. The pilot was desperate then dead.

Live and Let Die.

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32. Patrap
1:54 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
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31. Patrap
12:58 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
Were having our Annual Hurricane Family Meeting tonight ,and the neighbors have joined us also.



www.getagameplan.org

When a hurricane strikes, will you be ready?
It's critical that you are, for your safety and your family's.
The key is to have a winning game plan.

We want to help you in developing a simple but successful game plan for your family. That way, they'll know what to do, where to go and who to call when there's a hurricane.
Click through our checklist to help you prepare and ensure the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.


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30. Patrap
12:55 AM GMT on May 31, 2009
As the Season quickly approaches now..
Lets prepare so No one has days like these ever again.
Cuz ya never know..


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29. Patrap
7:38 PM GMT on May 30, 2009
Wowsa..you keeping good Company over dere I see.

Bill Looks like a NHC Director.

Always near the Java.

O yeah,..my kinda Guy.


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28. EmmyRose
7:36 PM GMT on May 30, 2009
Look who I literally ran into


Photobucket
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27. Patrap
3:09 PM GMT on May 30, 2009


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26. Patrap
3:05 AM GMT on May 30, 2009
Mike True and the Phantom Band doing "Mona Lisa Smile"..

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25. Patrap
2:59 AM GMT on May 30, 2009

"The Singularity"
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24. surfmom
1:54 AM GMT on May 30, 2009
Be Prepared for Hurricane Season!
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23. Patrap
12:21 AM GMT on May 30, 2009
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22. Patrap
9:52 PM GMT on May 29, 2009
.."If it keeps on Raining,Levee's Gonna Break"..

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21. Patrap
9:48 PM GMT on May 29, 2009
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20. Patrap
9:45 PM GMT on May 29, 2009
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19. Patrap
4:12 PM GMT on May 29, 2009
Neil Young and Crazy Horse performing Cinnamon Girl,May 3rd New Orleans Jazz Fest

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18. Patrap
4:09 PM GMT on May 29, 2009
Neil Young ~~My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) ~ 1989 ~ Summer , New York, Jones Beach. Tribute to Some great rock n rollers who met an untimely death. Also a bit of a tribute to the everlasting nature of rock n roll.

"Often imitated, but never duplicated, Neil Young's unique musical songwriting and playing style has influenced a generation of artists from Booker T. and the MG's to Pearl Jam to Wilco. From alt-country to grunge, punk to alternative, rockabilly to heavy metal, blues to synth, a musical genre label will never apply to Neil and his music. An observer once wrote that "Young has always been a lone wolf - a musical chameleon, who changes his musical style and his band as often as most people change their shirt." Crazy Horse bandmate "Poncho" Sampedro referred to Young's musical polygamy as "a fact of life."

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16. Patrap
1:57 PM GMT on May 28, 2009
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