Believe me, I am no Weather Woman. Wonder Woman, yes. But meteorologist- absolutely not. But after I’ve read some of the statuses on FB today about the hurricane coming towards Massachusetts, I thought that I might be able to break it down a little bit for you all who have never experienced a storm like this.
1) TAKE IT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! I lived in Florida for roughly 10 years between college and working there. I laughed right along with the next guy on my beach towel when they were kicking me off and telling me to seek shelter. And I also bypassed the water and bread aisles and hit up the 24 packs of beer instead. Many times. But after experiencing the first hurricane- I changed my tune. Although I still bought my beer for each one as well. And in my time there I probably experienced over 10 of them. Some worse than others but hurricanes none the less. We got smacked by Katrina TWICE. It wasn’t pretty.
2) Stock up on water and batteries. Freeze Tupperware containers of water. Which sounds crazy and I rolled my eyes every time my mom told me to do it. Blah blah blah beer time. BUT it’s good for two reasons. One- you have extra water after it melts. But two- it’ll keep your food in your fridge colder longer if you lose power. I’ve been without power for weeks. Seriously. And it sucks having to replace your entire fridge, condiments and all, when everything goes bad. And don’t be stupid and keep opening your fridge/freezer. If you don’t need to be in it- keep it closed and let the cold air stay in there. You’ll definitely need batteries because when your power goes out, you not only need flashlights, but you get bored VERY QUICKLY. Batteries work in your clock radio to listen to music, your iPod speakers (until that battery runs out), fans- hot houses are not fun in the middle of the summer. Etc.
3) Move any items in your yard or by your cars that is not something that you want flying through your window or smashing up against your home. I’m not kidding. If you can put it inside your house or in your garage, you will not have as much damage when you are able to leave your house and see what happened to your outside. This includes your patio furniture.
4) Board your windows. While it sucks not being able to see what is going on outside, windows are way more expensive than plywood. Just sayin.
5) If you live in low areas where water might flood into your house- get bags of sand for the outside of doors to keep the water out.
6) Get a propane lantern or camping lantern.
7) Stay off of your phone if you don’t need to be on them. Like playing games and shit like that. Your cell battery will die very quickly and you won’t get to plug it in if you lose power. A phone call after the storm letting your family you know are alive and safe is more important than playing 100 games of Angry Birds.
I lived in Florida where there are hurricane specific requirements on buildings and homes that “should” withstand most hurricanes. New England does not have these building requirements. A 100 mph wind will tear your shit up. You might lose your roof. Or your siding. Or trees on your property. Shit- click on my last post and watch the video of the stage collapse- that was winds of only 70 mph. With no whipping rain.
If nothing happens and the winds and rain completely miss you- then HA-LAY-YOU-YA! You have shown yourself and your kids what to do in preparation as well as set a great example for them on how to take things like this seriously. The efforts and time you spent will not be a waste of time. But if you do get the hurricane, then you will thank yourself for going through all of these motions. While you may be saying to yourself, “It’s ONLY going to be a category 1 by the time it gets to us…” You have NO IDEA what a category 1 is. It is far worse than a tropical storm and far worse than your typical nasty severe thunderstorm that you may be used to. It’s Mother Nature being a bitch and you don’t want to mess with her. Because I will tell you from personal experience- you always lose.
To those of you near the water- get as far inland as you can. Drive 4 hours. Do whatever you need to do. Being by the ocean is much worse than being in the Berkshires. Although reading some of the articles, the Berkshires might be in the direct line as well. If you want to drive to Indy- I’m pretty sure you would be safe there. I know someone who lives there. She might let you stay with her. Just bring cheesecake. She likes cheesecake.
I wish you all luck and hope that you don’t get any damage and everyone is safe but I also know that you will all be extremely prepared.