Today is also the start of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. Those of us living along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US will be nervously casting our eyes toward the Atlantic from now until November toward the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico watching for storms to develop into potential hurricanes that could threaten our areas.
We have already had one named storm, Ana make landfall in the US in a year that is being forecast because of El Nino to be a below normal one for storms.
But those of us in Houston can’t forget that in 1983, a year in which there were only four hurricanes, a Category 3 one whacked us named Alicia.
In case you’re wondering, the rest of the 2015 storm names are Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
While many of us know the drill concerning having hurricane prep packs, emergency supplies, and evacuation routes out of our coastal cities and towns that don’t involve traveling on interstate highways, as Hurricane Katrina taught us in 2006, we LGBT people also have to sadly consider homophobia and transphobia when hurricane season approaches and thosehurricane preparednessdrills happen..
We had the disgusting situation in the Houston area of reports of LGBT evacuees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina being harassed at shelters in the local suburbs. One trans feminine evacuee unfortunately spent a few days in jail for simply taking a shower in the area matching her gender presentation at a shelter on the Texas A&M campus.
So ever since that incident, the Houston LGBT community has put together lists of people and allies who would be willing to put up BTLG evacuees in their homes in the wake of a hurricane or other natural disaster, and it’s probably something that coastal communities with sizable LGBT populations should be doing in their areas.
So is your local TBLG community hurricane ready? Now is the time to get prepared to do so if you aren’t.