September 23, 2005

Help Rita's Rescuers

If you are in southeast Texas or southwest Louisiana, especially coastal areas, and plan to try to ride out Hurricane Rita, please help recovery operations by writing your social security number and name on both of your arms and both of your legs with a permanent marker.

This may assist mortuary teams in identifying your body.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 23, 2005 07:08 AM | TrackBack

I heard Gov Blanco say that. Didn't she first say what a stupid thing it was to say when Gov. Bush (think it was him, maybe it was the Miss Gov)first suggusted it?

Wonder what changed her mind?

Posted by: this and that at September 23, 2005 09:56 AM

Ouch. How about if I just write it on my shirt? Thanks for the wellwishes Blanco :(

Man I can't wait to vote that lady out of office.

Posted by: Kevin at September 23, 2005 10:56 AM

I thought John Tierney wrote this a few weeks ago in one of his columns - he said that this is how they handle reluctant evacuees in Virginia.

Posted by: theanchoress at September 23, 2005 11:39 AM

I first heard about it years ago, and can't recall if I heard it when Hugo came barrelling in our direction in '93 or when Bertha and Fran rolled thorugh in '96 or perhaps when Floyd came through in '99. I highly suspect tha it has been around as a saying for far longer than that.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 23, 2005 11:55 AM

Where would anyone rather be, at home with batteries, pumps, MREs, bottled water, or out on the Interstate Highway at the mercy of competing agencies that give conflicting information?

Posted by: Tom T at September 23, 2005 01:00 PM

I had never heard this quote before Blanco made it. It is in poor taste whoever says it. It ranks up there with Kos' "screw them" statement imo.

Posted by: Kevin at September 23, 2005 03:14 PM

It is practical advice that has become something of an urban legend, Kevin, that cops have been using for years. I personally heard about it in the 90s during one of the hurricanes that hit teh east coast, but it has been used before and since, including this example from Hurricane Isabel, in 2003. It was used by coastal police before Katrina as well. What, you think Blanco could have thought it up on her own?

You are worried about something being in "poor taste," while cops are using it as a rhetorical in a last ditch efforts to save people's lives.

Which is more important, offending them, or saving them?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 23, 2005 04:23 PM

The quote's origin go back to '54 when hurricane Hazel was barreling down on the North Carolina's coast.

Permanent markers hadn't been invented and paper was still a rather new and expensive commodity so the local police officers asked residents determined to stay in the area to carve their names into stone tablets tied around their ankles.

The tablets not only helped to identify the resident, it also helped to keep them from washing out to see of from being blown away.

I also have a bit of swampland for sale in the 'glades is anyone's interested.

Posted by: phin at September 23, 2005 05:35 PM