Two bloody marys in, I’ve finished a bag of potato chips (I had help, back off!), and listening to a hurricane playlist on spotify while my neighbor plays Wii Mario. It’s still sunny and the pets are sleeping on the couch.
It turns out that preparing for a hurricane (Isaac just turned from a tropical storm to a hurricane 1) is a lot like preparing for a snow storm up North.
Now it’s true that Yankees do not have the added stress of possibly evacuating before a snow storm. Let me tell you a little about what a pain in the ass that is.
Before it was even clear whether or not the tropical storm would force New Orleanians to evacuate, all the gas stations were out of gas. All of them. Every pump I went to was out. That was Sunday. On Monday morning I woke up at 5 a.m. to get gas and there was already a line.
An evacuation also means figuring out to where you will be evacuating. Some people book motel rooms and others are lucky enough to have friends and family in cities that are not below sea level- achem. But the thing about a hurricane is that no one knows exactly which direction it will head. Because of this minor detail, all the cities one would most likely evacuate to- Houston, Baton Rouge, Jackson- are also in the possible pathway of the hurricane. So after the hair pulling traffic that turns a three-hour trip into a seven-hour stand still, you could arrive in a city that also loses power. Bummer.
All of those reasons are enough to not evacuate. Now add an independent, moody cat who will definitely scream for the entire seven-hour car ride, and you can see why staying in New Orleans is the preferred choice.
So once I decided I was staying put in New Orleans, preparing for Hurricane Yitzchak was similar to what I’ve witnessed in PA before a blizzard. The kids get excited to have a few days off from school and the moms turn into combat experts, circumventing traffic laws in the street and cutting people off in the grocery store for the last loaf of Wonder Bread.
My first trip to the store was on Sunday. I bought a hand-held radio, AA batteries, and refilled my prescriptions. If the power went out I would use the AA batteries for the radio and anything else that I needed. I didn’t know exactly what else I needed that was at home and took AA, but I thought to myself, “all you need is AA.” I was pretty impressed with my master hurricane preparedness.
Then I went to the grocery where I decided to pick up a few necessities. $68 later I had in my apartment: oatmeal, cereal, bloody mary mix, Oreos, vodka, salad, ice cream, pasta sauce, bananas, edamame, almond milk, coffee, 2 jugs of water, a bag of ice, beer, and seltzer. The really important stuff.
Once I put the food away I realized, I should find my flashlight. Then it dawned on my that I owned one flashlight and that the flashlight took DD batteries and I had none.
So, I bought beer and vodka and Oreos, but no DD batteries or an extra flashlight.
(palm to face)
Then I realized I should probably have a cooler too. In case the power goes out it’s nice to have a cooler to use when you want to quickly grab a drink and don’t want to let the cool air out of the fridge.
In other words, I bought all this beer and I damn well was going to drink it while the power is out.
So back to the store.
This time I went to CVS. I bought a foam cooler and toilet paper. Now I was using my head. The confidence came back until I found out they were completely out of DD batteries. I was reminded of my past failure.
I then proceeded to Walgreens. They were out of batteries. I bought another cooler that wasn’t foam because I started to question whether the styrofoam would hold up and this one appeared sturdier. To make the purchase feel more productive I bought two cans of Pringles.
Side note: I never eat Pringles. I also avoid Oreos because if Oreos are in my house I turn into a crazed woman looking for her next cocoa fix. But something magical happens in the panic before a storm. Profound thoughts such as, “But what if the storm is so strong and all I want is white frosting sandwiched by two beautifully perfect chocolate cookies?” Or, “This hurricane is going to suuuuuuck. I bet potato chips would really help me not fall into a tailspin of anger and depression.”
So let’s catch you up to where I am now. I’ve spent almost $200 getting ready for this showdown. It’s Tuesday, the sun is still shinning, but the wind outside is starting to make that “whooo” whirling noise it does when sh*t is about to go down. Since I was a kid I have always loved storms, so I’m enjoying the anticipation for whatever is to come. Everyone is either outside trying to soak up whatever good weather is left or parking their cars on higher ground. I’ve got the laundry done, I’ve showered, filled bags of ice in the freezer, walked the dog, put the outside stuff inside, and even picked out a few new books to read.
I say “bring it” Isaac. I’m ready.