Hurricane season officially starts on June 1st every year, though this and the past couple of years have seen some small tropical storms turn up in May. And as today is May 31st and as I have developed my own hurricane intensity scale, I've decided to help you plan for this upcoming hurricane season.
Get a Battery-Operated Radio
Hurricanes tend to knock out power, and with more and more people using attenas to get TV, even if you have power, you may not be able to get a strong enough signal. Luckily, small radios are pretty cheap and available at Walgreens and Lowe's and don't need a strong digital signal like a TV.
Buy a USB Power Brick for Your Phone
Again, since the power can easily go out with a storm's winds, it's always good to have a backup. Put your phone in low power mode to conserve power, and try to only use it for information about the storm or for emergencies.
Get That 24-pack of Costco Water for $2.99
You should store at least 3 days worth of water, but up to two weeks is a best practice. Figure 1 gallon per person per day. Given the amount of boil advisories we get in New Orleans, if you live here, you should probably have a bunch of bottled water already, but if not Costco's got it cheap!
Make A Plan In Case You Gotta Hit the Bricks
Sometimes staying put isn't an option, and when local officials urge you to leave, you should already have a plan so you're not scrambling at the last minute. Know where you're gonna stay (relative, hotel, etc) and how you're going to get there. If your local officials enact contraflow, your normal route may not be viable, so have an alternate route just in case.
Get Some Sandbags
It's great to keep some sandbags on hand. With no video games or TV, your kids can get bored very quickly, so dump out some sandbags onto your living room floor and let them pretend they're at the beach! Tricking your children into thinking a rough situation is a vacation is a fun way to bring your family together!
Firing Weapons at the Storm Doesn't Help
If you shoot your guns into the sky to try and destroy the hurricane, the hurricane will get upset and the hurricane will become more powerful from eating the bullets.
Buy Some Scrubs and a Lab Coat
A great way to tackle any hurricane is to dress up like a doctor and walk out with a clipboard, lower your glasses a bit, and deliver some bad news to the hurricane. "Hurricane, I have some bad news" you could say. And then "The test results have come back and it doesn't look good. It appears you have gone blind in your eye" and the hurricane will become introspective and need to take a minute. You can put your arm around the hurricane to comfort it, but only for a short while because you're on call and your other patients need you too.
Build a Brick Oven
When the power's out, you won't be microwaving any Totino's or ordering any Domino's pizza, so constructing a brick wood fire oven is a great way to enjoy pizza without electricity. Hurricanes surprisingly don't care for pineapple, so check your scruples at the door and go ahead and make a Hawaiian pizza.
Flavortown Apparently Isn't Real, So Don't Plan to Evacuate There
I found this out the hard way in 2008 when Hurricane Gustav was heading toward us. My wife and children and I packed up the Subaru and tried to find Flavortown on MapQuest, but nothing came up. After further research, it turns out Flavortown is actually a metaphorical state of mind one figuratively travels to after eating something really yummy and not a city you can go to. I feel like this is something someone in charge should look into.
Depending on Your State, Marrying the Hurricane and Divorcing it Shortly After So It Gets Sad and Moves Away to Start Over with a New Life May Be an Option
Oddly enough, most of the states that allow you to marry tropical cyclones are in the midwest, which isn't very helpful, but both of the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, and certain counties in Florida do allow it. If you marry the storm and then divorce it the next day, you'll break its heart and it'll probably change its name and move away to start over!
Avoid Putting The Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" on Your Evacuation Mix Tape
We've all done it at least once -- you're meticulously putting together the perfect evacuation mix, creating a steady-but-not-too-expected rise-and-fall in tempos, and then you add The Scorpions' 1984 hit song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" to your mix, and as soon as it comes on, the hurricane comes running in playing air guitar and singing the chorus a fraction of a second off beat, just enough to annoy you and throw you off on your jam sesh. Yikes!
When Responding to an Email Chain the Hurricane is On, Use Reply All
If you're on an email chain with the hurricane and want to respond to someone else in the thread, use Reply All -- hurricanes HATE that and they're already on their last straw and they've been thinking about leaving this job anyway because they really don't get the respect they deserve and they always end up doing other people's jobs and their own job too which is absolute bullshit and they know quitting over a simple "reply all" is silly, it just further shows how much everyone here just doesn't pay attention to what they're doing or how it affects their coworkers so frankly, they'll ask you to consider this email their letter of resignation and then they'll leave early for the day and grab a drink at the bar next door to the bar everyone went to for happy hour after work because even though they're pissed off, they still really enjoyed the camaraderie after work and they can't fully commit to severing those ties so they'll deactivate their social media and just kinda go offline for a bit while they figure some things out.
Don't Forget Water and Food for Your Pets!
We often forget when calculating water needed for our family that our pets need to be included too! Make sure you add water to your stock for your pets, as well as stock up on their food and any medications they may need.