There are some excellent resources for preparedness, such as this one from The American Red Cross, that are available for anyone who may find themselves in the path of a hurricane like myself and millions of other Mid-Atlantic and North Eastern residents as we wait for Hurricane Sandy to hit in the next couple days.
So you’ve stocked up on all the essentials like water, batteries, non-perishable food items, but are you really ready?
I say you’re not ready until you read my list of OTHER important preparedness tips to get you through a Hurricane.*
1. DO YOUR LAUNDRY. One of the things that the experts are telling people to plan for is long term power outages. You can’t run a washing machine without electricity, and unless you plan on the whole family going commando, you better get everyone’s drawers done ahead of time. As anyone who is stuck doing the majority of the laundry on the regular knows, it’s bad enough with electricity. All I can say is there’s no way you’ll find me out back beating dirty undies against a rock, old-school style.
2. HIDE YOUR STASH. Just another reason to get your laundry done early – the washing machine, as suggested by one of my readers, is an excellent place to hide candy. With Halloween just days away, many of us have candy in the house, ready to be enjoyed. If the storm keeps trick-or-treaters at bay, don’t let it go to waste! Whatever you do, don’t give the kids any candy while you’re stuck inside without electronics. That’s just crazy. Take one for the team and eat it, but just don’t let the team know you’re doing it.
3. USE UNSCENTED CANDLES. During Hurricane Irene last year we had flashlights and batteries as well as a LED Lantern, but we also used candles that were in large (oddly enough) hurricane glasses. The only problem was that every single candle in my house last year was scented. Although my home smelled lovely, everyone was complaining about my “stinky candles.” Yesterday was Friday and I thought I would still be able to find plenty of unscented candles to use for this storm, but I was wrong. Every candle I came across in the three stores I went to were “Pumpkin Spice” or “Apple Cider” type scents. On arrival at the fourth store, I found much of the same. When I asked for assistance, the girl working there at first said their Fall scents were all they had, but she then asked me to wait as she checked on something in the back. When she returned, I was presented with these unscented, heavenly candles. And when someone hands you a Jesus candle, right before FRANKENSTORM, you don’t say ‘no,’ especially at a dollar a piece.
4. PREPARE YOUR PETS. When a major storm approaches make sure that you have enough food and water for pets too. My puppy Baxter is just six months old and this is his first Hurricane, so we’ve been practicing the doggie-paddle and getting his gear ready for trips to the bathroom outside. I’ve got food and water for him, and I think he’s as ready as he’s gonna be.
5. BOOZE. Totally an essential. No explanation needed.
6. ENTERTAINMENT. For my seven year old, having the power turn off with no TV, video games and computers, is like having an extremity amputated. My younger two kids, ages five and three, are also reliant on a lot of electronic entertainment, and once the power goes out, you better be prepared to keep our modern day kids happily preoccupied while powerless. I’ve purchased (new) coloring books, puzzles, board games, crafts, and other things to keep my kids entertained. Because I’m a realist, I know this stuff will only last a short time. I’m hoping our anticipated outages don’t last very long and if they should, I’ve already got ear plugs for myself for prolonged indoor, no-electric time with three kids.
7. WEAR A HURRICANE APPROPRIATE OUTFIT. Because I’m
an idiot an alarmist, I like to prepare for the worst and panic hope for the best. What if my roof blows off and I’m sucked out of my house? What if I’m swept away in a flash flood? I want to make myself easy to spot for my rescuers, so I plan on wearing my bright pink unitard. It should allow me to be identified easily whether in the top of a tree, in a pile of debris, or in flood waters. If you don’t have a unitard for yourself, any bright-colored spandex suit should work.
8. SHAVE YOUR LEGS. I know that it’s Fall, and many of us have packed our razors up along with our swimwear until next Spring, but you don’t want to be rescued by some hunky fireman looking like a Sasquatch. Dust off those razors and do a cold-weather shave just in case.
What did I miss? Leave me a comment and let me know what other precautions are good for this type of event!
To all those in Hurricane Sandy’s path, here in Delaware and elsewhere, be safe, pay attention to officials and warnings, and I’ll see you all on the other side of the storm!