Monday, October 29, 2012

The Idi-YAT’s guide to preparing for a Hurricane

As someone who has spent my entire life near water – dangerous, hurricane-riddled water – I’ve been on several “hurrications,” where you basically read a lot of books and drink a lot of wine.

If you remember, I rode out CAT 2 Hurricane Isaac at my parents’ house in August.

Things are different in New York, though, where right now CAT 1 Hurricane Sally Sandy is churning towards the coast.

What’s different? Well, first of all, it’s really cold in New York right now (60 degrees! One degree away from being in the 50s!!!!!), whereas it's generally hot as BALLS in New Orleans, making not having power that much smellier.

So, at least New York has that going for them. Less smelly.

Also different is that many of those people haven’t been through a proper hurricane before. 

They're antsy and confused, where us Gulf-coasters go through this every year and know at least a half dozen people who have lost entire houses to hurricanes.

So with my vast knowledge and experience, and the fact that all the articles I’ve been reading about “getting ready for Sandy” included such DUH things like “If the power goes out, don’t open the freezer because you’ll let out all the cold,” and “don’t drink spoiled milk,” I’ve decided to put together my own list of how to prepare for a hurricane.

BOOKS and BOARD GAMES.  When the power goes out, you’re gonna get bored. And the only thing to do is find non-electronic fun. Board games and books are great for this, with my personal favorites being Scrabble and anything by David Sedaris, respectively.

PHONE. Charge your phone (DUH) because constantly looking at Facebook for your friends’ Sandy updates really drains the iPhone. No, for real. You have two hours to troll tops. I know this.

FOOD. This, you have to think about carefully. Does your stove run on gas or electric heat? If it's gas, then you’ll be able to cook a variety of things on the stovetop even if the power goes out. (May I suggest soup, it’s one degree away from being 50 degrees there) No, wait. Make gumbo.

If you have an electric stove, you’re shit outta luck, hahahahahahaha, just kidding. I found that a variety of crackers, fruit and cheese makes an excellent meal and goes great with wine.

People also often fill up ice chests to put the perishable food like cheese and butter inside it, like camping, but I find it gets really soggy and then I don’t want it later.

ALCOHOL. If there was ever an excuse to drink, now is the time. You ain’t got no school, you ain’t got no job, you ain’t got shit to do!!!!

LAMPS. Get flashlights and candles so you can see things and avoid stepping on things like your friends.

FRIENDS. It’s nice to be around people admist a disaster, and hurricane parties can be quite fun and exciting. In that vein, there’s also a tendency for friends or ex-lovers to find romance during a storm, since everyone is cooped up and sharing beds and couches already. But, before hooking up with someone, ask yourself: Would I do this if there wasn’t imminent danger outside?

WINDOWS=BAD. I learned this the hard way, in a drunken sleep haze when I tried to close a shutter that was banging on the side of my parents’ house during Isaac. I tried to pull it shut but the wind was too strong, so I balanced my feet on the wall and was literally tugging at it with all my weight when the wind shifted and the shutter flew back and shattered the window and I fell backwards and dove to avoid the broken glass.

If you can, put masking tape in X’s on the windows, so if they do break, they won’t shatter and embarrass you in front of your parents who woke up and saw the mess.

And…don’t balance your feet on the wall.

RADIO. A battery radio is good to update you on what’s going on out there once your phone dies. But it can make you neurotic and dogs really hate the noise.

ANIMALS. I don’t have one, so I have no tips. I think they need water.

DUH.

And don’t give them spoiled milk.

-Jenny

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