“Destructive, unpredictable, unpopular, and a scale of awful so large it can be disorientating,” Melissa Everton, the local FEMA representative for Cape Cod, says as she describes the realities of a post-hurricane visit from Donald Trump to an emergency session of concerned citizens in Provincetown, Massachusetts; an area that has seen a number of major hurricanes over the years, and in which less than 9% of eligible voters endorsed the current president.
As cities and towns across the United States watch the catastrophe in Houston unfold, many are reviewing their preparedness for a how – in the immediate aftermath of a disaster – to deal with the uninvited arrival of a president looking to assist in any way he can by taking jabs at the media, measuring crowd sizes, and selling hats.
“He may try to hold your children,” Ms. Everton continues, “You can tell him not to. He may wear a hat that says ‘I’m A Category Six.’ Do not buy it. He will likely want to compare golf handicaps. It is ok to say you give no shits about that right now, and to openly question what the hell he is doing in your flooded town.”
With three months remaining in the Atlantic hurricane season, population centres along the eastern seaboard remain on high alert, with many residents preemptively shuttering their houses on the off-chance Trump should visit.
“I’ve been around long enough to know there’s nothing more dangerous than a president with historically low approval ratings,” says Cape Hatteras resident George Pelham. “Years like this, you just got to keep your head down, your car gassed, your insurance paid up, and hope for the best. Like a glancing blow from a storm that spins out to sea and causes no real damage, thus no headlines, ergo no unwanted attention from a guy who can make even a hurricane about himself.”