Friday, August 26, 2011

This is a disaster

This week is a disaster - quite literally! Not only did I get shaken up by my first earthquake on Tuesday, but this weekend, as I live in the DC Metro area, I will be in the path of Hurricane Irene.

My parents live in Florida, where I also went to high school, so this is nothing new. This will actually be my fifth named storm: I've been through Charlie, Frances, Jeanne, and Fay. I ended up losing power for EIGHT DAYS during Frances. And during one of those storms, either Frances or Jeanne, I was leaning against the glass-paneled door to get some light for reading... and then a tree fell on the house right behind me. (The windows didn't break, but damn that scared me!)

Some of my fellow East Coasters here probably haven't been though a hurricane before. I'm sure most of you are reading up on emergency preparations and evacuation routes. Agent extraordinaire Kathleen Ortiz tweeted some great tips, which I recommend you read. But if you're looking for some more tips on how to get through the storm, you've come to the right place!

- Clean out your bathtub and fill it with water. If the power goes out, you're going to need it! This also may provide you with additional hilarity if your cat gets too curious and falls in, like mine did during Fay. 

- Keep an eye on weather updates and such even after the storm is over. Some serious thunderstorms and tornadoes can trail along the outer bands.

- For those of you with gas stoves, stock up on dinners you can cook on the stove top, and buy a lighter if you don't have one yet. Gas stoves can be lit even if the power goes out. If your stove is electric, PB&Js are your best friend. 

- Use up as many perishables as possible tonight and tomorrow morning. It's an excuse to cook yourself a nice meal. Try not to open the fridge once the power goes out.

- Get your activities involving electricity out of the way while you can! Conserve the battery power on your laptop, iPod, phone, etc. Have an electricity-free activity at the ready, like knitting or a huge pile of books. And have a notebook and pen on hand, naturally.

- Have something comforting on hand. Storms are incredibly stressful. I plan to load up on some nice, non-perishable snacks. Also, wine. The wine is very important.

- And most importantly, stay indoors whenever you can. Be careful. And even if the storm only deals you a glancing blow, you will have been prepared.

Stay safe, everyone!

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