I’ll spare you from all the “This is nothing compared to where I’m from” triteness our Californian friends put us through during the earthquake. I’ve learned my lesson after talking shit about a little hurricane named Katrina that caused barely more than a drizzle over southwest Florida but subsequently destroyed New Orleans.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned after sitting through—or running from, in the case of Hurricane Andrew—after a dozen or so hurricanes.
1) Electric is going to go down so stock up on food that can stay out. If ConEd doesn’t have their act together, we could be without electric for days after the hurricane. Open up your fridge as rarely as possible because there is little worse than a fridge reeking of rotting foods in the heat. Try eating anything tonight or early tomorrow that would be a shame to let go bad. This also means at the very least that you’re going to need a cooler and ice to keep the beer cold that you will need to steady your nerves and pass the time.
2) Water stops working when the treatment plants go offline. Make sure you are showered and then fill up your bathtub with water. You’ll need this and a bucket to flush your toilet.
3) Towels, lots of them. There is something about hurricanes that bring out the leaks. Also, if you’re on the first floor, you’ll want them for your doorway. We’ve had a lot of rain to soak up already and depending on what quadrant of the hurricane hits us (the upper-right quadrant produces the biggest storm surge, strongest wind and most chance of tornadoes), we might get some serious flooding.
4) Batteries, water, etc. Charge your stuff. Buy Cheetos. You know this drill.
5) We use to tape a big X on windows so that if the glass did break, it would break into bigger pieces. This has been disproved, but I might do it, for old times sake.
6) Those plants on your fire escape? They are now flying projectiles. Bring them in now while you’re thinking about it. Anything outside that can be picked up and tossed around also needs to be secured.
7) Find a Florida friend that isn’t in the evac zone and get an invite to their hurricane party. We are all having them and will be complaining nonstop that we thought we had moved away from all this nonsense. But we will still be the ones with the best board games and the most beer. And the first ones playing outside when its deemed safe(ish).