Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ready for Katrina II?

This serves as official notice of our diversification into the umbrella and galoshes trade. The brainstorm came yesterday afternoon, after catching the news from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration , the federal version of your local weather forecaster. Given how the announcement might affect you, we may want to include sedatives in our product line.

The news wasn’t wholly bad. Indeed, Part I was reason to crack open the Cold Duck: The hurricane season is officially over. After a record-setting five instances of cowering in front of a TV, wondering if the storm will affect your restaurants, the industry can expect six months of relatively normal weather.

But after that? Start guzzling.

Expect another season like the one that brought us Katrina and Rita, the NOAA warned. “I’d like to foretell that next year will be calmer, but I can’t,” said Conrad C. Lautenbacher, the Ph.D.-holding vice admiral who heads up the agency. “Historical trends say the atmosphere patterns and water temperatures are likely to force another active season upon us.”

An official, detailed forecast won’t be issued by the NOAA until May. But its leadership was confident enough of its misgivings to warn that areas start preparing now.

And what size umbrella would you prefer?

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