Darn events cancelled due to the approaching hurricane.
But better safe than sorry folks. Hurricane Irene is now expected to be a lot worse on our region than originally predicted. Apparently, they can see just how bad it might be from the International Space Station! The last hurricane that came through this way was Isabel, and I remember how the resulting damage delayed my uncle's funeral by as many as ten days. Obviously, the images of Katrina remain with all of us...and though I was long gone from New Orleans by the time Katrina hit in 2005, I did have the misfortune to be living in the city during the Great Flood of 1995. It was during my first year of law school and one thing I will never forget was watching someone kayak down St. Charles Street because there was no other way to navigate the city (pun intended...and that memory might be slightly exaggerated--the person could have been in a row boat) and I was stranded on the third floor of my building for two days with no power because the water was waist-deep. The point, Mother Nature don't play!
And because I am a firm believer in preparing for avoidable disasters, here is my Busy Black Woman Hurricane checklist of obvious stuff to do by Saturday. The husband just flippantly declared that we will not get hit by Irene...remember what happened the last time he said not to worry about an impending disaster?:
- Stock up on the food you'll need to last you for a couple of days like snacks and bottled water...and loaves of bread (if you must). If you can find toilet paper, I guess you can buy that too, but just remember that it tastes awful.
- Check your flashlights to see if they need new batteries. It might be a good idea to make sure that you actually have flashlights in the house and that you know where to find them.
- Place candles in strategic places--away from curtains and other flammables, but also in the bathroom and kitchen where you will need consistent illumination (and odor deterrents).
- Plug in that old Snoopy touch-tone phone with the cord because when the power goes out, your cordless phone will be useless when you try to call the power company to report the power outage.
- Remember your car chargers for your cell phone, iPod and laptop. Because if I end up trapped in the house for a few days with the husband and no power, I'm gonna need to retreat to the car to avoid killing him.
Since I am convinced that he is totally wrong, here are a few real resources you might need:
- Where to get sandbags in DC and Arlington
- Also where you might find some dry ice locally
- Yes it sucks, but you'll need to abandon those plans for the beach this weekend since Maryland's Governor declared a State of Emergency hours ago, as did the Governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York (where the mayor of NYC is calling for evacuations).
- But eh, maybe South Carolina will get lucky and it is not entirely clear what is going on in Florida
- And here are some tips from some midwestern guy who was on the Today Show