To my New Orleans readers: if you were thinking of staying home and riding out Katrina, don't. GET OUT. Last year, I was worked a hurricane planning workshop in Baton Rouge, put on by the state's Department of Homeland Security. It dealt with planning and response to a major SE Louisiana hurricane, complete with simulations and expert-designed projections, surveys, etc. A Cat3 making a direct hit on NOLA was projected to cause massive damage, far beyond what the average person might think. Consider the possibility of 18 feet of water in the CBD, a toxic soup of household and industrial chemicals floating around the flooded bowl that NOLA sits in and substantial, if not complete, destruction of homes and businesses along the river. Think floating corpses and balls of fire ants and gasoline and god knows what. If you stay and survive, search and rescue will not come after your ass for some time, and if they do they will be coming to take you out and nothing else. After they blow the levee and the water goes down, it'll still be months before the city is livable. Casualties possibly in five figures. That's a Cat3. If Katrina makes landfall as a Cat5? The destruction will be apocalyptic. Get out now.