Continuing with natural disaster week here in Virginia… What’s the best kind of hurricane emergency preparedness list? A fake one because you aren’t going to need one! We live near the mountains, so we are not going to see much of Irene. We’ll have some rain and we might have a little wind – 15-25 mph, they’re saying. So lucky us, we’ll just be hoping all of our friends and families who are closer to the coast are prepared and will stay safe (and hoping we don’t have any more earthquakes – I think the current count is the mainquake plus 9 aftershocks and counting). People are still freaking out around here, which amuses me. If we lived even 50 miles further east, flooding could potentially be a huge problem (so I’m hoping my friends in Richmond stay off the roads), but here, we really should not see much more than a rainy day. Regardless, knowing how our power can go out because someone looks at it wrong and that the power company staff will likely have their attention focused on the areas of the state that ARE likely to be seriously affected by the storm, I’ve made my own personal list for weathering the not-storm that will undoubtedly affect us in ways that a friggin’ earthquake did not (because that’s how the universe rolls, yo).
Jen’s Very Serious (Not Really) Hurricane (or Not) Emergency Preparedness List
- Reading material. Lots and lots and lots of reading material. Fortunately I have 2 magazines, a 400-page book, a 500-page book, and a 750-page book to finish, plus at least 50 other books in the to-be-read pile.
- Food. We just picked up a week’s worth of groceries yesterday from Relay Foods, and some of it is even non-perishable.
- Booze. There is wine in the house, but we will likely pick up some additional provisions this evening. Bonus points for things that require no ice and no refrigeration (so red wine, basically).
- Fully charged laptop, iPhone, and Nintendo DS. What, we can’t just sit around and read or talk to each other all the time if the electricity goes out, right? (Note to self: remember to plug in iPhone and DS overnight; the laptop stays plugged in so it needs nothing further.)
- Board and card games. See above. This requires no special effort on our part as we own at least 30 different non-electronic games.
- Flashlights. We have a small Maglite in my car, a tiny dollar-store flashlight that I use to walk the dogs at night, and a massive spotlight of a Ryobi with a fully charged rechargeable battery.
- Candles. God help us if we EVER run out of candles. I think I obtained enough candles in my 20s so that I may never have to buy another one. Ever.
- Not a well. CHECK. In case you were not aware, homes with wells no longer have running water when the electricity goes out. Wells require pumps, which require electricity. I learned early in childhood how to flush a toilet in a well-bound house without electricity, which means that you have trashcans and buckets full of water in your basement that you drew off (or collected in the months of previous rain) in anticipation of losing electricity. Our condo is on the county water system (with decent, drinkable water), so provided no water mains break, we will not run out of water no matter how long the electricity might be out.
- Not living near large bodies of water. Hmmm. We live practically on top of a smallish river that will flood if it rains lots and lots, but we live in a 4th floor condo, so…check?
- A friend with a generator. Also known as my boss. I wonder what she would think if I showed up with my motley crew to take advantage of her electricity when I had none?
- A back-up plan. Dave’s parents live IN Virginia Beach, so they’re not really a viable back-up plan for a hurricane. My parents, however, live even further out of the storm’s path than we do. I definitely do not anticipate needing to descend upon them, but it’s nice to know you have options.
What else should be on our list? What’s on yours? (For serious and for true, if you ARE in the hurricane’s path, I hope you either move to safer areas or follow a real emergency list to prepare yourself – safety first!!)