Ernesto? Where are you?

Monday evening: long lines of cars wrapped around gas stations. Urban assault vehicles and land-tanks thirsty to guzzle their fill of gas before the hurricane comes. Mobs descended on grocery stores, filling their carts with canned ravioli and dozens of plastic jugs of water. Hardware megastores stayed open all night and sold all the cheap plywood and chipboard in stock. SUVs never designed to actually transport anything rolled away with long wood sheets on their roofs, a couple of strands of parachute cord wrapped around (and the driver's hand, out the window, balancing the 100-lb. load).

Ernesto is coming! The Weather Channel and the brigade of South Florida meteorologists had all assured us it was so. So, sheeplike, the unprepared raced to buy D cell batteries.

Ernesto, like many Hollywood movies, was more marketing than event. South Florida didn't even get much rainfall. Keep in mind that, in the summer, daily cloudbursts of Biblical ferocity are the rule. Not a day goes by without 1-2" of rain.

Ernesto? Gentle breezes and light showers. A little lightning, nothing more.

For those of you who haven't been through a hurricane before, let me tell you: this
was not a hurricane. For South Florida at least, Ernesto was a media event and nothing more.

If I sound bitter, I don't mean to be. I'm glad that all the idiots who didn't have hurricane supplies before are a little more prepared now. What never ceases to amaze me is the sheer number of folks who think it's okay to not be ready until
hours before the hurricane is expected to come ashore.

"Ahh, I'll buy a flashlight next time there's a hurricane."

Proper supplies, by definition, do not go bad for at least a few years. So WTF, people? Come on! We all know that hurricanes come every year (even when some of them are really, really wimpy). Get it together, get ready. There's no good reason to wait until the last minute.

Lest ye forget: