UnNews:New Orleans disaster accounts offer survival insights

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What would you do? Events in Louisiana have many people across the United States asking themselves this very question, sometimes asking it out loud, randomly and in public, resulting in stares, pointing, laughter, and, in one case, a marriage proposal.

New Orleans is still ‘Big’ but not quite so ‘Easy,’ due to a recent series of disasters in and around the city. First in this series of disasters was the election of all the current city officials and ending – for now - with last week’s mandatory evacuation due to flooding damage by, as 50-year resident and mayor Leeroy ‘Po-boy’ Brown called it, “dat bitch Katrina.”

What would you do? No one can say for sure, but we felt part of the answer could be found by looking at how the trapped citizens of New Orleans responded to the crisis and steadfastly refused to be labeled ‘victims’; they took that labeling job into their own hands and did it well. Through hundreds of stunning accounts as told by eyewitnesses, accounts of bravery and dignity in the face of disaster as the tattered remains of the city’s population united for survival, looting, and arson, we have summarized here for you a list of tips on how to prepare for such a disaster and survive the aftermath, New Orleans style!


1. Willfully ignoring evacuation warnings is a gamble, and gambling is fun! Don’t worry, even if you lose, it is in no way your fault and no one will blame you! What do those dumb asses at the Weather Channel know anyway?

2. At any given opportunity, set something on fire. ANYTHING. This applies to the giant piles of trash you have surrounded yourself with, cars you may not have been able to afford, clothing stores you weren’t allowed to enter, and your ho’ who just ran off with your stash and your cousin Willie. The fire will have many benefits, including:

  • Fire pretty
  • Making smoke that keeps all the damn mosquitoes and flies away
  • Providing a publicly accessible place to cook food and light a doobie or crack pipe
  • Signaling rescuers to come looking in your area, otherwise they’d just be hanging out on Bourbon Street

3. Looting is fun and easy! Get some friends together and take whatever you can carry! This is your shot to stock up! Upon being rescued by air, water or land, aid workers will have no problem squeezing in your loot, too; after all, they’re there for you, and you alone.

4. As a friendly greeting, fire off a round or two at relief workers and military personnel. They're used to it as the they are probabily on leave from Iraq or Afghanistan. They won’t mind a bit, it will help keep them on their toes and encourage them to help you first; they may even return your greeting, and their aim is much better than yours.

5. If help seems slow in coming, stops, or isn’t meeting your expectations, it is in NO way due to the arson consuming downtown, rampant looting, or random shots fired at your new buddies. It’s because your government is a failure, no one cared enough to issue early evacuation warnings, and also just ‘cause the man likes to keep you down.

6. The bus ride to your new shelter will be long and boring. Shake things up by offering the bus driver a break, even if he doesn’t want it. When you find he won’t listen to reason, playfully fight him for the wheel. In the end, everyone will thank you because those three 60mph rolls down the side of the interstate embankment were more fun than any roller coaster, and no one had to pay a dime!

7. If you find others at your shelter are being too compliant, thankful, reasonable, or at all coherent, or, if after a couple months, you just get bored, start a riot. Everyone needs to be reminded that the state and the country owe you big time. Do whatever it takes to send this message; burn your shelter down if you have to.


Author’s note to readers

The preceding has been brought to you by sleep deprivation, junk food, combinations of various illicit narcotics, and the letter Z!

If you find this offensive, that’s probably because it is. It is also true, with the single exception of item #7 which is mostly speculation that, although logically based on prior behavior, will probably just piss you off even more.

"Who the hell is this katrina women" ( Oscar Wilde )

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