It looks like Hurricane Irene is making her way up the East Coast. Which means the pleas are starting to prepare for what could be a very dangerous storm. This means it’s time to think about what you REALLY need to survive a hurricane.
Many other outlets will cover the safety precautions and supplies you should have on hand, and you should listen to them. Hurricanes are no joking matter. But I’m thinking more along the lines of how you weather the storm with your relationships and sanity intact.
Charge Up Your Electronic Devices
It has been my experience that even on the nicest of days, the power can mysteriously go out. This is especially depressing when the battery on my iPhone was already uncomfortably low. It’s possible the hurricane will disrupt cell service, but it’s more likely that your battery will die and prevent you from uploading pictures of downed tree limbs to Twitter. My brother got me this handy device for Christmas a couple of years ago, which is helpful when I remember to charge it before it needs to top off my phone. In any case, make sure everything is at 100% before the rain bands come ashore.
Buy gas now
I always remember my Mom gassing up our cars before a storm in case it took a few days for things to get back to normal, or if the storm leads to looting and you need to mow down some hooligans in self-defense. In either case, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so fill ‘er up before Sunday.
Stock the liquor cabinet
Everyone will be joking about buying booze before the storm, but it’s no laughing matter. Alcohol will keep the atmosphere convivial, and will soothe your jangled nerves if a tree crashes through your window (or lands on top of your car). It’s best to have liquor on hand as it’s drinkable at room temperature, but I’m not too proud to admit there will be a cooler of Narragansett and Brooklyn beer sitting on my back porch on Sunday.
Plan a party
As a student at the University of Rhode Island, we had a tropical storm come close to the coast of Rhode Island. Classes were canceled, and the dorm hunkered down. It turned out to be a bit of a bust, but I’ll always remember playing volleyball outside the building in the blowing rain. Obviously, be sure to head indoors if the weather is dangerous, but having a few friends over will make the storm more fun. (And they may bring beer. See tip #2.) Follow the advice of Benny’s marketing department and have a few non-electronic games around to pass the time.
Buy some books
No, I don’t mean download a bunch to your Kindle. I mean old-school, pulp-and-ink editions of works you’ve been meaning to read. You don’t have to remember to charge a book, and you’ll always remember reading it during the 2011 hurricane. Buy one at your local independent bookstore, or pop into Borders for their going-out-of-business sale.
Summer is nearly over. You’ve got maybe a handful of beach days left. Don’t worry about keeping to your diet. Have some nonperishable healthy stuff in the cabinets in case things are tough this weekend and early next week. But wouldn’t it be lovely to wash down some Doritos with the beer you’re keeping on the back porch? And for the love of God, don’t make some poor delivery man come to you in the midst of a howling storm. Make sure you have food on hand. (Or, if your favorite pizza joint is open, be sure to tip very generously.)
What are your hurricane-weathering traditions? Anything I’ve missed in my rundown? Let me know in the comments.