|Hurricanes (photo: Phil Denton on Flickr)
1. Help Your Neighbors. First of all let's be serious. Do you have neighbors that might need some help? Make sure they are ok with this Operation Hurricane Prepare guide that I helped make with Create The Good. In addition to being the right thing to do, one of the things that hurricanes do is bring the community together. Some of my favorite memories are helping neighbors tape their windows or dive in and pull patio furniture out of the pool afterwards. That probably won't happen in DC, but you can get batteries for flashlights, water and coolers of ice for your elderly neighbor.
2. Plan Your Food. I'm not saying we should dramatically buy out everything in the grocery store. Take a look at your refrigerator. If you lose power, what will go fast first? Things like half and half and cheese would be first on my list to save. Therefore, I'll want a cooler of ice ready to go if Pepco goes bust. In addition, I'll want to have at least 24 hours of food and drink that doesn't need to be refrigerated. (I'm planning on making a mess of this Bolognese sauce today and freezing it in portions.) If you don't have a gas oven, you might want to cook any proteins in your freezer. Growing up in Florida, when we lost power, we'd fire up the gas grill and have a cookout (well, on the covered patio.)
3. Secure Your Yard. Got planters or chairs outside? Bring them in or make sure they are not at risk of blowing down the street. Your patio chairs shouldn't end up in the way of emergency vehicles trying to get by.
4. Charge Everything, Then Get Old School. In DC, our biggest threat is likely power loss (ok, or flooding if you're in a basement.) If you're a technology junky like me, that means you'll lose the Internet, the cable and the lights. Plug everything in and charge what you can to 100% but what will you do with yourself after it's gone? Make sure you've got good books, a deck of cards or some board games to pass the time.
5. Throw a Hurricane Party. I'm not saying get hammered and dangerous, I'm saying talk to your friends and neighbors. If you've got to weather a storm and no power, share your food, play games and generally hunker down together. Storms are scarier when you go through them alone. That said, here's Emeril's recipe for Hurricanes if you want to make a pitcher to kick things off!
6. Don't Drive. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles. We'll probably have some trees down and Pepco will need to get through to clear them and restore power. Also, if there's water, don't drive through it. Your car will stall. You'll get stuck. And the emergency workers will be stuck dealing with you instead of what they should be doing.
Tweet me at @floridagirlindc if you have any questions or need recipes!
UPDATE: More Tips That Make Sense
UPDATE: More Tips That Make Sense
- If you're responsible for someone else (baby, dog, etc.), make sure you are storing extra water - re-use gallon jugs, freeze it in ziplocs, fill your bathtub... whatever you like. If we lose water for a week, you'll want it to drink, clean, flush and bathe. Consider how much you go through. Yeah.
- Download the Pepco app if you live in DC. Instead of spending maddening hours on the phone, you can just report your outage on the app. In addition, you can see outage maps near you and approximate times they think they will get a crew your way.
- If you've got above ground power lines, chances are, you're gonna lose power. Make sure you have batteries for flashlights and/or matches and candles unless you want to sit in the dark in bed and watch Caddyshack on DVD til your laptop battery dies.
- If your car is in a flood prone zone, move it now before all of the spaces are snapped up. But don't move it so far away that you can't use your car as a power source to recharge your iPhone and iPad. It may be the only hope for tech addicts like me.
- I'm hoping I don't have to tell you this but, don't drive through or wade through flooded streets and don't go near downed power lines. That's a pretty quick way to become a statistic AND make a Darwinism list.
- Are you a true storm junkie? Not unless you've got the RedCross storm app and are following alroker on Instagram.
- Save your iPhone and iPad batteries by turning off 3G and wireless unless you're using it. Turn off all notifications. Close apps you aren't using.
- Reliable sources (Twitter) tell me that downloading a movie on iTunes and watching it will take WAY LESS battery power than watching streaming Netflix or HBO GO through a 3G connection if you're power goes down. Plan accordingly.