Just the name, Big Bertha, stands for tough. In World War I, Big Bertha was a German howitzer used to destroy forts in Belgium and France. It is a powerful golf club. It is the biggest tunnel-boring machine on Earth. And it is the largest drum in the world (at the University of Texas).
And if you don't think Big Bertha the cow was tough, consult a veterinarian. She held the record for lifetime breeding (39 calves) and still died just three months shy of her 49th birthday.
Hurricane Bertha hasn't delivered any big blows. Despite attaining low-level hurricane status Monday, she appeared, as of Tuesday evening, unlikely to hit the U.S. mainland.
But that not so big Bertha did deliver an important reminder that it's hurricane season. And that means it's time to prepare for the next one, if you haven't done so already.
? Put together a list of emergency contacts, including hospitals, law enforcement, fire and rescue and utilities, as well as personal contacts.
? Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes.
? Stock up on water, canned food, medications.
? Keep a battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
? Collect personal care products like hand sanitizer and wet cleaning cloths in case water isn't available.
? Equip your car with jumper cables, maps, GPS and tools.
? When you plan places to stay in case of evacuation, keep your pets in mind.
? Consult a knowledgeable source like the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center for more suggestions and details.
Fortunately, Bertha's message of caution hit harder than her winds did.
But with someone, or something, named Bertha, it's a good idea to pay attention.