Recent events have underscored the importance of being properly prepared to deal with the effects of natural disasters. With that in mind, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has prepared the following guidelines.

  • State and local governments should notify FEMA a minimum of two weeks before a natural disaster strikes.
  • In the event of a disaster of "biblical proportions," FEMA may not be your best option. You may wish to consult your Bible instead.
  • In a time of crisis brought on by a natural disaster, remember to focus on the task at hand—survival—and don't waste mental energy thinking about who did or didn't cut this or that funding for levee repairs.
  • Find a way to pass the time and take your mind off the situation. For example, see who can count the most bodies in a minute.
  • Write charming and folksy yet moving pleas for help on sheets of plywood. Example: "Please!!! help Old lady in here! she Very sick!!! please help!!! us"
  • Try to steel yourself for the prospect that some Kevlar-vested prick with an automatic rifle might try to take your cat away.
  • Children should try to decide on which stuffed animals they don't want to die of starvation, disease, or exposure.
  • Please cover your "safe area" with thyme, sage, or other fragrant herbs to mask the stench of decomposition when rescuers finally find your bodies.
  • When taking refuge in gigantic sports arenas, do your best not to open fire on the aircraft coming to fly you out.
  • In any disaster, bodies will usually be stacked like cordwood before FEMA can respond, so remember that a "cord" of wood is 8 feet high by 12 feet long by 4 feet wide, and stack accordingly.