2010 Hurricane Preparation

By: Patrap , 3:37 PM GMT on April 18, 2010

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

"Think outside the Cone"

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 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.


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.


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.


* 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.


* 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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63. Patrap
12:21 AM GMT on April 24, 2010
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62. Patrap
12:09 AM GMT on April 24, 2010

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61. OGal
3:38 PM GMT on April 23, 2010
Pat hubby and I watched the first episode of Treme on HBO last night. It is the story of New Orleans post Katrina. The music was beyond belief. I am sure you would probably know all the musicians. It will take a while to get to know the characters but we will I am sure. I think it will be right up there with the Sopranos. Can't wait for the next episode.
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60. Patrap
3:31 PM GMT on April 23, 2010
..for Tom Lennon,gone from us since Aug 82..

But not far from memory..

Time and again I see you walking down the street
Over and over, just like before
Once in a while you stop and say hello to me
Just like you used to do before
Time and again, it's like we were in love and then
Over and over - nobody keeping score
Once in a while I think you notice when I smile
That love still lingers in my eyes

It can't go wrong, it can't go wrong
It lingers on, it lingers on

Day after day I turn it over in my mind
Dream after dream it's hard to tell you how I find
Out of the blue I'm suddenly so close to you
Despite the years that I've been gone
Will you stop - will you wait a minute - please remember
Can you stop - can you just give me one minute to explain
I will not cause a fuss, I will not rock the boat - believe me darling
Oh what is, what was, it's all the same

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59. Snowlover123
1:51 AM GMT on April 23, 2010
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58. Patrap
6:38 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
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57. Patrap
6:09 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
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56. Patrap
5:11 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is officially announced as Madden NFL 11 cover athlete
By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune

April 22, 2010, 9:00AM

EA Sports made the official announcement this morning that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been chosen by fans to be featured on the cover of the Madden NFL 11 video game, set to hit retail shelves on Tuesday, Aug. 10.
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54. Patrap
5:00 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
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53. Patrap
3:39 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
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52. juslivn
2:25 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
Hello Pat, Happy Earth Day!
a href="" target="_blank">Link
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51. Patrap
1:51 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
Morn' Mass...happy Earth Day to ya..!

This is the land where I live
Paint it all over golden
Take a little sunshine spread it all around
This is the love that I give
These are the arms for the holding
Turn on your love light shine it all around

Shine it all around, shine it all around
These are the times of my life
Bright and strong and golden
This is the way that I choose when the deal goes down
This is the world that I love

Painted all over troubled
Take a little sunshine shine it all around
End a little sign now, spread it all around now
Hine it all around now, when the deal goes down now
Shine it all around, Shine it all around

This is the heart of the man
This is the heart of the matter
Break a little bread now spread it all around
E a little bread now, all around
Shine it all around, shine it all around

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50. masshysteria
1:22 PM GMT on April 22, 2010


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49. Patrap
1:11 PM GMT on April 22, 2010
On waves of love my heart is breaking
And stranger still my self control I can't rely on anymore
New tides surprise - my world it's changing
Within this frame an ocean swells - behind this smile I know it well

Beneath a lover's moon I'm waiting
I am the pilot of the storm - adrift in pleasure I may drown
I built this ship - it is my making
And furthermore my self control I can't rely on anymore
I know why - I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools
Turn this boat around - back to my loving ground

Who claims that no man is an island
While I land up in jeopardy - more distant from you by degrees
I walk this shore in isolation
And at my feet eternity draws ever sweeter plans for me
I know why - I know why
Crazy on a ship of fools
Crazy on a ship of fools
Turn this boat around - back to my loving ground
Oh no, oh no - ship of fools --

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47. Patrap
12:24 AM GMT on April 22, 2010

Experimental X-37B Robot Space Plane to Launch Thursday
By Leonard David

SPACE.coms Space Insider Columnist
posted: 20 April 2010
06:18 pm ET

The United States Air Force plans to launch its first robotic X-37B space plane Thursday on a mission that is a forerunner of things to come. A second mini-space plane is already under contract and is projected to be launched next year.

New details regarding the mini-space plane and its upcoming Thursday liftoff atop an Atlas 5 booster were discussed today during a U.S. Air Force-held media press briefing.

The X-37B vehicle's history stretches back to the late 90s, with NASA kick-starting the project. It was later picked up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and ultimately found a home within the Air Force. The project is now under the wing of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

"After a tumultuous history of sponsorship, it's great to see the X-37 finally get to the launch pad and get into space," said Gary Payton, U.S. Air Force Deputy Under Secretary for Space Programs in a media press briefing today.

Auto-pilot mode

The small X-37B spacecraft resembles a miniature space shuttle and is equipped with its own payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed ample space to hold a couple of small satellites that are a few hundred kilograms each, Payton noted.

According to released specifications, the X-37B space plane weighs about 11,000 pounds and is just over 29 feet in length. It stands slightly more than 9 1/2 feet in height and has a wingspan just over 14 feet across.

The initial X-37B flight is designed to loiter in space up to 270 days. After retracting its solar array and closing payload doors, the space plane would re-enter in automated mode.

"It's on auto-pilot, literally, the entire time the rest of the way in," Payton told SPACE.com, adding that the Air Force is ready in case the spacecraft malfunctions. "We'll be tracking it over the Pacific...and it does have a destruct mechanism on it."

The X-37B is designed to make an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, or at neighboring Edwards Air Force Base as backup.

"Similar to the shuttle, it'll take half-the-world to come home," banking on redundant digital flight control systems on the vehicle, Payton said. "I've got a lot of confidence in the ability of this bird to come back home autonomously."
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46. Patrap
11:51 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Search for 11 missing after explosion to continue through the night

The search for 11 missing workers from a Gulf of Mexico rig that exploded late Tuesday continued into Wednesday evening even as the Coast Guard Commander confirmed that they "have no idea where they are.”

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45. Patrap
11:44 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
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44. swampliliy
9:55 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Pat- you have WUmail!

Swampy :))
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43. Patrap
9:53 PM GMT on April 21, 2010

Tea Partiers In Tax Day Protests Try To Explain Why They're Against Obama (VIDEO)

First Posted: 04-21-10 04:44 PM | Updated:

A correspondent for New Left Media ventured out among the tea partiers during their tax day protests in Washington D.C. to interview them about what it is that's fueling their fierce opposition to to the government in general and President Obama in particular.

Suffice to say, the answers involve lots of wild-eyed claims about tyranny and socialism. Highlights include a woman gravely warning "Obama is considering banning fishing in America," as well as another dressed in a ball and chain outfit to illustrate how our liberties are being constrained.
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42. Patrap
9:43 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
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41. Patrap
9:36 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Neil and Crazy Horse May 3,Last Year 2009 Jazz Fest NOLA.

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40. Patrap
9:31 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
I've got one inbound from Tampa in the Morn as well press..

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39. presslord
9:30 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Pat...we've got a busload of Charleston Catholics headed your way for JazzFest....I told 'em I have you on standby to arrange bail if needed...
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38. Patrap
9:27 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
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37. Patrap
9:25 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Good stuff again LST..you can be my Musical Guest Poster..for sure.
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36. LongStrangeTrip
6:05 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
A little more from Gary Clark, Jr., shreddin' it at Antone's in Austin. Dang, now I'm homesick for Austin AND New Orleans...

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35. LongStrangeTrip
5:52 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Oh, I always look at the schedule as soon as it comes out...just no way we can make it this year.

So, here's a little gift for you, from my hometown of Austin. WC Clark is an Austin legend, and Gary Clark, Jr. is likely to be one.

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34. Patrap
5:49 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
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33. Patrap
5:20 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Well..ya better not look at who's playing then..

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32. LongStrangeTrip
5:18 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Awww, now you're just rubbin' it in...I haven't been to Jazz Fest in sooooooo long. Miss that, too!
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30. LongStrangeTrip
5:00 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Yum!! No thanks on the jelly - I'll take mine straight up. :)

I gotta tell ya, Pat - I KNOW what it means to miss New Orleans!
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29. Patrap
4:46 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
O man,LST..I need to play mo SRV here for sure.


..Jelly ?

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28. LongStrangeTrip
4:44 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
In preparation for the foul weather headed our way, I give you the Texas master, SRV:

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27. LongStrangeTrip
4:37 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Shoot - I have coffee, but fresh biscuits from scratch?! Dang, mind passing one this way, please? Lol
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26. Patrap
3:20 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Walk me out in the morning dew my honey
Walk me out in the morning dew today;
Can't walk you out in the morning dew my honey
Can't walk you out in the morning dew today!

Thought I heard a young girl cry mama,
Thought I heard a young girl cry today-
You didn't hear no young girl crying mama,
You didn't hear no young girl cry today!

Thought I heard a young man cry mama-
Thought I heard a young man cry today-
You didn't hear no young man crying mama
You didn't hear no young man cry today!

Now, there's no more morning dew
Now, there's no more morning dew-
What they've been saying all these years is true
Now, there's no more morning dew!

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25. Patrap
3:19 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
LOl...Im on my 2nd cup and a fresh biscuit from scratch,so the tunes will roll now for sure.

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24. LongStrangeTrip
3:18 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
That's awesome, Pat! I'm really excited about this year's walk.

And may I say, sir, you play the BEST music!!

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23. Patrap
3:11 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Morning LST..thanx for the post on the Portlight Walks to come.

Were going to have a committee meeting Friday night here to work on specifics and delegate some roles as well..

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22. LongStrangeTrip
3:03 PM GMT on April 21, 2010
Hey, Mr. P! Great blog on hurricane preparedness! I hope people take heed. Keep on keepin' on and getting this information out there. It really does save lives!

I just popped in to remind everyone about the 2010 Portlight/WU Honor Walk and Roll. We're raising money to build permanent shelter in Haiti and to prepare for our domestic disaster response through the upcoming storm season. Get outside, enjoy the Spring weather and help Portlight keep on rockin'!!

You can check out my blog for more info, and visit the Portlight website to download the flyer and sponsorship forms.

As always, we appreciate all of you and your strong and unwavering support!! The WU community is the best anywhere, hands down!!
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21. Patrap
12:55 AM GMT on April 21, 2010
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20. EmmyRose
6:30 PM GMT on April 20, 2010

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19. Patrap
3:30 PM GMT on April 20, 2010
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18. Patrap
3:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2010
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17. Patrap
2:46 PM GMT on April 20, 2010


*Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. It has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.

*George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

*When US sources of "Manila hemp" (not true hemp) was cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the "Hemp for Victory" campaign to grow hemp in the US.

*Because of its importance for sails (the word "canvass" is rooted in "cannabis") and rope for ships, hemp was a required crop in the American colonies.


*Henry Ford experimented with hemp to build car bodies. He wanted to build and fuel cars from farm products.

*BMW is experimenting with hemp materials in automobiles as part of an effort to make cars more recyclable.

*Much of the bird seed sold in the US has hemp seed (it's sterilized before importation), the hulls of which contain about 25% protein.

*Hemp oil once greased machines. Most paints, resins, shellacs, and varnishes used to be made out of linseed (from flax) and hemp oils.

*Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil.

*Kimberly Clark (on the Fortune 500) has a mill in France which produces hemp paper preferred for bibles because it lasts a very long time and doesn't yellow.

*Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts could be made out of hemp. Because of hemp's long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood.

*The products that can be made from hemp number over 25,000.


*Industrial hemp and marijuana are both classified by taxonomists as Cannabis sativa, a species with hundreds of varieties. C. sativa is a member of the mulberry family. Industrial hemp is bred to maximize fiber, seed and/or oil, while marijuana varieties seek to maximize THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

*While industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to an untrained eye, an easily trained eye can easily distinguish the difference.

*Industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 and 1%. Marijuana has a THC content of 3% to 20%. To receive a standard psychoactive dose would require a person to power-smoke 10-12 hemp cigarettes over an extremely short period of time. The large volume and high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be almost impossible for a person to withstand.

*If hemp does pollinate any nearby marijuana, genetically, the result will always be lower-THC marijuana, not higher-THC hemp. If hemp is grown outdoors, marijuana will not be grown close by to avoid producing lower-grade marijuana.

*Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton.

*Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun's UV rays more effectively than other fabrics.

*Many of the varieties of hemp that were grown in North America have been lost. Seed banks weren't maintained. New genetic breeding will be necessary using both foreign and domestic "ditchweed," strains of hemp that went feral after cultivation ended. Various state national guard units often spend their weekends trying to eradicate this hemp, in the mistaken belief they are helping stop drug use.

*A 1938 Popular Mechanics described hemp as a "New Billion Dollar Crop." That's back when a billion was real money.

*Hemp can be made in to a variety of fabrics, including linen quality.


*The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies all C. sativa varieties as "marijuana." While it is theoretically possible to get permission from the government to grow hemp, DEA would require that the field be secured by fence, razor wire, dogs, guards, and lights, making it cost-prohibitive.

*The US State Department must certify each year that a foreign nation is cooperating in the war on drugs. The European Union subsidizes its farmers to grow industrial hemp. Those nations are not on this list, because the State Department can tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.

*Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing governmental interference) in the United States until the 1950s. It was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp. While Congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as it's successor the US Drug Enforcement Administration, does to this day.

*Over 30 industrialized democracies do distinguish hemp from marijuana. International treaties regarding marijuana make an exception for industrial hemp.

*Canada now again allows the growing of hemp.


* Hemp growers can not hide marijuana plants in their fields. Marijuana is grown widely spaced to maximize leaves. Hemp is grown in tightly-spaced rows to maximize stalk and is usually harvested before it goes to seed.

*Hemp can be made into fine quality paper. The long fibers in hemp allow such paper to be recycled several times more than wood-based paper.

*Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using less chemicals than with wood. Its natural brightness can obviate the need to use chlorine bleach, which means no extremely toxic dioxin being dumped into streams. A kinder and gentler chemistry using hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine dixoide is possible with hemp fibers.

*Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.

*Hemp can displace cotton which is usually grown with massive amounts of chemicals harmful to people and the environment. 50% of all the world's pesticides are sprayed on cotton.

*Hemp can displace wood fiber and save forests for watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation and oxygen production, carbon sequestration (reduces global warming), and other values.

*Hemp can yield 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre. This is four times what an average forest can yield.


*If one tried to ingest enough industrial hemp to get 'a buzz', it would be the equivalent of taking 2-3 doses of a high-fiber laxative.

*At a volume level of 81%, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the "good" fats). It's quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother's milk.

*While the original "gruel" was made of hemp seed meal, hemp oil and seed can be made into tasty and nutritional products.

Prepared by the North American Industrial Hemp Council, October 1997
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
16. Patrap
1:28 PM GMT on April 20, 2010
April 19, 2010 |

This article first appeared on TruthDig.

Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite and the myths they perpetrate. Chomsky has done this despite being blacklisted by the commercial media, turned into a pariah by the academy and, by his own admission, being a pedantic and at times slightly boring speaker. He combines moral autonomy with rigorous scholarship, a remarkable grasp of detail and a searing intellect. He curtly dismisses our two-party system as a mirage orchestrated by the corporate state, excoriates the liberal intelligentsia for being fops and courtiers and describes the drivel of the commercial media as a form of “brainwashing.” And as our nation’s most prescient critic of unregulated capitalism, globalization and the poison of empire, he enters his 81st year warning us that we have little time left to save our anemic democracy.

“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.”

Chomsky has, more than any other American intellectual, charted the downward spiral of the American political and economic system, in works such as “On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures,” “Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture,” “A New Generation Draws the Line: Kosovo, East Timor and the Standards of the West,” “Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky,” “Manufacturing Consent” and “Letters From Lexington: Reflections on Propaganda.” He reminds us that genuine intellectual inquiry is always subversive. It challenges cultural and political assumptions. It critiques structures. It is relentlessly self-critical. It implodes the self-indulgent myths and stereotypes we use to elevate ourselves and ignore our complicity in acts of violence and oppression. And it makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.

Chomsky reserves his fiercest venom for the liberal elite in the press, the universities and the political system who serve as a smoke screen for the cruelty of unchecked capitalism and imperial war. He exposes their moral and intellectual posturing as a fraud. And this is why Chomsky is hated, and perhaps feared, more among liberal elites than among the right wing he also excoriates. When Christopher Hitchens decided to become a windup doll for the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11, one of the first things he did was write a vicious article attacking Chomsky. Hitchens, unlike most of those he served, knew which intellectual in America mattered. [Editor’s note: To see some of the articles in the 2001 exchanges between Hitchens and Chomsky, click here, here, here and here .]

“I don’t bother writing about Fox News,” Chomsky said. “It is too easy. What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.”

Chomsky, because he steps outside of every group and eschews all ideologies, has been crucial to American discourse for decades, from his work on the Vietnam War to his criticisms of the Obama administration. He stubbornly maintains his position as an iconoclast, one who distrusts power in any form.

“Most intellectuals have a self-understanding of themselves as the conscience of humanity,” said the Middle East scholar Norman Finkelstein. “They revel in and admire someone like Vaclav Havel. Chomsky is contemptuous of Havel. Chomsky embraces the Julien Benda view of the world. There are two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege it will always be at the expense of truth and justice. Benda says that the credo of any true intellectual has to be, as Christ said, ‘my kingdom is not of this world.’ Chomsky exposes the pretenses of those who claim to be the bearers of truth and justice. He shows that in fact these intellectuals are the bearers of power and privilege and all the evil that attends it.”

“Some of Chomsky’s books will consist of things like analyzing the misrepresentations of the Arias plan in Central America, and he will devote 200 pages to it,” Finkelstein said. “And two years later, who will have heard of Oscar Arias? It causes you to wonder would Chomsky have been wiser to write things on a grander scale, things with a more enduring quality so that you read them forty or sixty years later. This is what Russell did in books like ‘Marriage and Morals.’ Can you even read any longer what Chomsky wrote on Vietnam and Central America? The answer has to often be no. This tells you something about him. He is not writing for ego. If he were writing for ego he would have written in a grand style that would have buttressed his legacy. He is writing because he wants to effect political change. He cares about the lives of people and there the details count. He is trying to refute the daily lies spewed out by the establishment media. He could have devoted his time to writing philosophical treatises that would have endured like Kant or Russell. But he invested in the tiny details which make a difference to win a political battle.”

“I try to encourage people to think for themselves, to question standard assumptions,” Chomsky said when asked about his goals. “Don’t take assumptions for granted. Begin by taking a skeptical attitude toward anything that is conventional wisdom. Make it justify itself. It usually can’t. Be willing to ask questions about what is taken for granted. Try to think things through for yourself. There is plenty of information. You have got to learn how to judge, evaluate and compare it with other things. You have to take some things on trust or you can’t survive. But if there is something significant and important don’t take it on trust. As soon as you read anything that is anonymous you should immediately distrust it. If you read in the newspapers that Iran is defying the international community, ask who is the international community? India is opposed to sanctions. China is opposed to sanctions. Brazil is opposed to sanctions. The Non-Aligned Movement is vigorously opposed to sanctions and has been for years. Who is the international community? It is Washington and anyone who happens to agree with it. You can figure that out, but you have to do work. It is the same on issue after issue.”

Chomsky’s courage to speak on behalf of those, such as the Palestinians, whose suffering is often minimized or ignored in mass culture, holds up the possibility of the moral life. And, perhaps even more than his scholarship, his example of intellectual and moral independence sustains all who defy the cant of the crowd to speak the truth.

“I cannot tell you how many people, myself included, and this is not hyperbole, whose lives were changed by him,” said Finkelstein, who has been driven out of several university posts for his intellectual courage and independence. “Were it not for Chomsky I would have long ago succumbed. I was beaten and battered in my professional life. It was only the knowledge that one of the greatest minds in human history has faith in me that compensates for this constant, relentless and vicious battering. There are many people who are considered nonentities, the so-called little people of this world, who suddenly get an e-mail from Noam Chomsky. It breathes new life into you. Chomsky has stirred many, many people to realize a level of their potential that would forever been lost.”

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He writes a regular column for

every Monday. His latest book is
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Patrap
4:38 AM GMT on April 20, 2010
.."there will be blood in the water"..

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