Hurricane Irene is baring down upon us East Coasters. Our family is pretty good at disaster preparedness. We've been through our share and have learned a little from each experience. Mostly what we've learned is that if we super-prepare, the storm will suddenly dart away or fizzle out completely before it ever gets to us.
As usual, the forecasts for Irene vary greatly depending on the channel and from moment to moment. Rain accumulation reports vary from 4 to 20 inches but 6 - 8 inches seem to be the most used numbers. Everyone seems to be saying basically the same thing about the wind - 40 - 50 mph sustained with gusts of 80 mph. Of course that number is MUCH higher closer to the coast. Those lucky enough to be on the beach will be looking at 100 mph sustained winds. And of course, everyone is in agreement that the worst of the storm will be hitting our area tomorrow night between midnight and 3:00 a.m. Why does the worst always have to come at 3:00 a.m.? Always!
I think we are prepared though. We have plenty of charcoal and propane. We even have matches this time. We have candles, flashlights and this time, we even have batteries for those flashlights. We have 2+ weeks of drinking water on hand. We've got a ton of food that can be cooked on the grill and a bunch more that doesn't need to be cooked at all. I did notice we don't seem to have any potato chips. I'm not sure how we'll make it through a storm without chips, but we do have lots of potatoes. Maybe we could make our own. We have 4 cases of soda, 6 bottles of wine and the liquor cabinet is stocked fairly well. The cars are full of gas, we have several cans of gas on hand, and the generator is full and ready to run. We have some cash on hand in case the ATM's aren't working later. Our phones, ipods, Kindles & computers have all been charged up and are ready and waiting. I've got crates of yarn waiting to be knit, several books from the library and quite a few library DVD's waiting to be watched. I also have my stack of storm movies to watch - Twister, Storm of the Century and a Perfect Storm. I'll have to make sure I watch those early on so that I'm wound tight as a tick long about 3 a.m. when the rough stuff hits. Oh and ice. Good grief, do we have ice! Coolers full! I'm not sure what either of us were thinking. I suddenly got it in my head that we'd need ice. I instructed Hubby to buy a bag and he, for once, followed directions without asking why. But he didn't buy just one bag - he bought 3! And I've been making ice like crazy for a few days in preparation of the storm. So we now have 4 bags of ice that don't fit in the freezer, the three Hubby bought and the one bag full that I've made over the last few days. Of course, by the time the power goes off and we are in need of that ice, it will have become toilet flushing water. And speaking of toilet flushing, after everyone gets up in the morning & takes their showers, we'll fill the tub just in case.
As for out doors, the flags have been taken down, the potted flowers & plants have been brought in as well as the porch furniture. The wind chimes and hanging/swinging bird feeders have been taken down. The trash cans have been bungeed to the fence. The grass has been mowed.
I think we may be ready! Now for the hard part, waiting.
Stay safe East Coasters!