Yesterday, weather.com played the scare tactic card. And I will admit it worked on me! Forecasts for Hurricane Irene to strike North Carolina as a category 5 storm, and then pound New England as a category 3 storm prompted me to pack up my children and hit the grocery store for supplies. I still feel it's more likely that we'll get a tropical storm instead, and not even lose power, but I'm not about to risk days without power and a way to cook food for my children.
With Ryan on a mission to connect the hurricane-ravaged areas with a mesh-node network, it will be me and the boys to ride out the storm. We stocked up on pre-packaged granola bars, shelf-stable yogurts and fruit treats (um, yuck, what's in that so it doesn't need refrigeration?), snack crackers and cereals. We have bottled water and juices for drinking, and empty milk gallons I recycled to hold water for hand washing and toilet flushing. This morning I'm baking cookies (not for the storm, just because I'm pregnant and I want cookies) and zucchini bread, banana bread and blueberry muffins. My boys probably wont even notice the storm because they will be thrilled to have so many "treats" that they normally don't get to eat! We're stocked up on propane to run the grill, with lots of chicken and ground beef to defrost and make burgers and sandwiches.
We're good on batteries and flashlights, and now duct tape for the windows if the storm does prove to be serious. We have a small tree in the yard that wouldn't damage the house much even if it fell, though the playset with slides and swings may not survive being crushed by the tree. I feel secure that our basement will not flood. We've had 10+ inches of rain from a weekend nor'easter storm before, and though the city streets flooded, the pond down the hill from us washed over the bridge and most houses in the area showed a tell-tale pump hose coming out of their basement, we remained dry. I feel less secure that our roof will hold. It's been on the list of things to upgrade on this house for a while. There's technically nothing wrong with the roof, but it's old and we were starting to price out replacement options. Tonight I'll move our formal clothing and out-of season clothing out of the upstairs closets, just to be safe. There's no reason to discover that the roof is leaking, or blown off and all my formal gowns and Ryan's dress uniforms ruined or blown away with the roof.
Though we should always be prepared (how about that earthquake this week?) to fend for ourselves for a few days, I don't usually keep all these supplies in the house. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flu epidemics, blizzards, etc. can all require "hunkering down" and though I was never a Girl Scout, I do know it's best to Be Prepared. As a Coast Guard spouse, our unofficial motto is Semper Gumby (Always Flexible) but this weekend I'm choosing the official Coast Guard motto of Semper Paratus (Always Ready). Now that I've officially stocked up, I feel much more Paratus for all those winter storms that are likely this winter!
Next time I'll include wine and hurricane cocktails...