For Katrina's first anniversary, the Times-Picayune asked readers about their evacuation experience -- what they did right, what they'd never do again.
"What worked for us?" answered Peter Busenlener of New Orleans. "Nothing. What would I do differently? I shall start listing:
"Do not watch the news anywhere around your kids. Ever.
"Do not leave ANY pet behind thinking you will only be gone for two days.
"Know how to text message if the cell phones are no longer working.
"Have an emergency account set up with a NATIONAL bank so when you cannot access money from your local bank there is a back-up fund.
"Bring more than a few days worth of clothes.
"Bring a copy of children's shot records.
"Know what 'teaching methods' are taught in your school (yes, I was asked that question several times!).
"Every year when getting your pets vaccinated, get a copy of updates to bring while evacuating.
"Let people who want to take care of you and love you do just that. This is not boot camp or a pride parade. Let others help.
"Bring pictures of items in your home for your insurance claim.
"Bring needed medications.
"Bring some wine.
"Tell your family and friends where you are going and work out a 'contact person' on the outside who can give your information to worried friends and family.
"Never depend on the government. If it looks like a storm is coming and (local TV weathercasters) Bob Breck and Margaret Orr are a little stressed -- GET OUT.
"Brush up on some of those prayers your momma taught you. And just know we have been through the worst. It can never get as bad as it did. We are a strong people."
- From Dave Walker's excellent 'Treme' Explained column.