Ahh, October, the temperatures have dipped below 94 degrees. Everyone is putting six cups of pumpkin puree into their bodies on the daily. And there is a massive ball of wind, rain and other destructive energies hurling itself toward the south eastern United States.
The year we moved into our house we survived back to back to back hurricanes bound almost straight for us. As Florida natives, my husband and I have lived through even more. Due to my expertise and track record of survival I feel that I am in the unique position to offer some advice on how to stay sane before, during and after a hurricane. There are legitimate safety and survival tips available on many other websites along with multiple apps that will keep you informed on tracks, conditions and resources specific to your area(www.americanredcross.org is a great place to start). The outline below is just for fun.
Though each circumstance is different depending on your living situation and homeowners or renter’s insurance policy, these guidelines transcend most boundaries (especially the healthy ones). Without further delay, I present you with my top five ways to survive a hurricane.
1) Prep yourself to be constantly annoyed. If there is an actor or actress with a voice you simply cannot stand, find audio and video of this person and play on repeat. This training will ensure that the weather person (who might have never bothered you before) will be palatable over the next five to ten days. I don’t care how cute they are or how stylish they dress, you will feel murderous as they amp it up during the next few days of your lives. Hurricane Matthew – which is churning just south of Jamaica looks like a massive and powerful storm, however it is constantly being referred to as having the “possibility of becoming a category five hurricane”. They all have the possibility of becoming a category five hurricane. I have the possibility of becoming a category five hurricane (maybe as a Halloween costume, but still…). This is like telling the parents of a newborn that their child has the possibility of becoming a serial killer. Thank you for giving me the WORST POSSIBLE SCENERIO.
2) Find at least one stupid flashlight. Put new batteries in it, buy an additional set of them and a replacement bulb. Most people have a flashlight or two around the house. If you have small children you will likely have about seven per kid – they might be themed – it won’t matter. The important part is that you find it and you make sure it works. Chances are, the power will go out and for some cruel joke it will happen at night – which will somehow wake the kids and the dog and everyone will be terrified until you can produce electricity of some sort upon request. Trust me on this.
3) Make up an entertainment bag. On the news, you will see people rushing out to the grocery store and home improvement center – buying “Necessary Supplies” such as water and food. Let them go and follow me to the dollar store (or the liquor store, depending on your crowd) to buy actual necessary supplies. If you routinely feed your children and yourselves, it is likely that whatever food you have in your house right this second is an amount that can sustain you for several days (I know how TRULY LUCKY that is and I don’t take it for granted). It’s unlikely that your kids or spouse will die of starvation before they die of boredom. Get the five hundred piece puzzle, the plastic character placemats, the playdough, the face mustache kit – whatever you always say no to, load that up and keep it in a brown opaque paper bag specifically for this event. Also, make sure to budget in money for glow sticks. Again, trust me that this is a necessity.
4) Gather together some scented candles and a few lighters. This is the perfect time to corral any “secret Santa” gifts that you stuck in the cabinet above the fridge that you thought you didn’t really like. If the power is out for a few days everything about your life will take on certain – ripeness. All of a sudden the “Country Apple” jar candle from Bath and Body Works that you haven’t smelled since 1998 is going to be your new best friend. Speaking of Bath and Body Works, pick up a few body slashes / sprays. I know, I know, you are an adult now who wears expensive perfume proudly. But you will hate it when it surrounds you like a dense fog and that is exactly what it will do in 99.99% humidity and no moving air. It will be much easier to part with the six dollar “Cotton Candy” Body Fantasies spray you pick up at Walmart. (Although, only go to Walmart if you absolutely must – like to have your propane tank filled or to get dog food, because the last thing you need to survive are the Christmas Tree and Lights displays that are up while your power is out and your entire yard is blanketed in the plants that used to be your landscaping).
5) Go to the library. Pick out five or six good books for each member of your family and one tale of woe to prove that someone in the world is having a harder time than your tween with limited access to YouTube. (Maybe get Dolores Claiborne…). There will be no tv, no tablets, and if you are almost over your data plan – which happens quickly with no Wi-Fi – very limited cellphone use. It is the perfect time to get lost in a book, no matter if you are reading it to yourself or a (literally) captive audience.
Some hurricanes have devastating and long lasting effects and I can appreciate the seriousness of that as a week and a half without power is not the worst thing I personally have lived through. A time like this brings up fear, scarcity and safety concerns in the most level headed and hopeful of us all and I am no exception. I wrote this post tonight to bring a little light and a little laughter to a stressful and uncertain time. Although it is truthful it is also satire. Stay informed, stay safe and try to make the best out of the situation. Let’s hope this storm falls apart and we stick together!