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Monday, August 20, 2007

Out of the Woods? Not further south

Photo: Cancun, Mexico - Over 20,000 US tourists are trying to get out of Dean's way. Another 60,000 were supposed to be there over the weekend

After the last entry I found out that my friends were able to get the last plane out of Jamaica with their 5-week old baby, just before Dean rolled in with 145 mph winds. They said some interesting things about local hurricane preparation efforts.

Jamaicans do things differently. My friends room had a balcony OVER the water. In a hurricane the hotel procedure is to take off the balcony, move the furniture upstairs, then OPEN the main doors -- to let the storm winds blow THROUGH the hotel! They were glad not to be there to witness that. Imagine the debris and water blowing through the building at 140-plus mph! They wouldn't need to do that with XO Armor.

Now it appears Dean is going to hit south of Cancun - so we may be out of the woods on this monster. But not so for the folks in its path further south. And don't forget, the remnants of "Erin" is killing people and flooding from Oklahoma to the Midwest - a long ways from the coast.

Last night I was "flying" over Jamaica and Cancun tracking the storm. Although I'm a pilot really I wasn't flying in a plane but I saw Havana and Kingston as if I was in a small plane . You can do the same. Download the (free) Google Earth program. Then type in the name of the place you want to see - and fly over, zoom down to even see cars, etc. At the top you can even "slant" the angle to go from satellite view to airplane view.

On Google Earth I even "flew" down the infamous Baghdad Airport road. Check it out to see what the folks from Belize to Tampico that are facing a potential 145 mph winds.

And while we may be out of the woods on this storm, others will come. You can't repeal the laws of nature or geography. Hurricanes are earth's way of spinning off excess heat build up, and we remain on the coast.

Living with plywood is not being prepared in the 21st Century.

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