A little Irene Emergency Prep UPDATE

I don’t know if Glenn Reynolds was ever a Boy Scout, but he is always mindful about emergency preparedness, and the coming hurricane has him Johnny-on-the-spot with useful links on getting ready, and I’m sure he’ll keep adding to it, so check him out.

Over here, we’ve been a little slow on the uptake. My Eagle-Scout-Creating husband, who is ridiculously busy at work looked up dazedly from his desk last night and said, “are we all set for this storm?”

“I think we have some tins of tuna. Pretty sure,” I said. “And, peanut butter and…maybe some Nutella.”

He sighed and returned to his report, saying, “alrighty then, glad you’re up on everything; I knew you would be!”

In truth, we were a little better prepared than that. This morning I hard-boiled 18 eggs, and then took an inventory and found the staples: Bread, milk (liquid and powdered), more eggs; check! Pasta, beans, tuna, sardines, crackers, coffee, grains, candles; check. Flashlight and Batteries; check. Brandy; check. Wine; check. Medical kit; check. Scrabble board; check. Cookies…Cookies?

I have been told by an authority that one must have cookies in supply during a hurricane. These, we did not have.

So off I trundled to my least favorite place in the world, the grocery store, where normally staid suburban New Yorkers were going out of their minds, laying in a months’ worth of provender. People buying giant slabs of Jarlsberg cheese, ordering whole pounds of ham, turkey, roast beef and baloney from the deli cases — buying gallons of milk and various meats and I thought, “silly folk; when the power goes out for a week, all those perishables will become a hassle for you. Buy rice and beans, and fruit. And Guinness, which is good for you! And cookies!”

Seriously, though, a few recommendations for the storm and aftermath. We’re not experts, but we are Scouters, so here’s what we know:

— If you have an ice-maker, start storing ice and making more. If you don’t, go buy bags of ice NOW, not later, when everyone else is trying to, and put them in your freezer, so if you need to rely on a cooler, you’ve got your stuff. You can also fill empty 2 liter soda bottles or large ziplock bags with water, and freeze them.

— Drinking water. Get lots. Fill your empty soda bottles with tapwater now, while you know it’s good. Again, with the ziplock bags — use them. If you have a clean trashcan, line it with heavy plastic bags and fill them with water, too. While the storm is raging, if you think you’re going to lose power, give the bathtub a good scrubbing and then FILL IT with water and then tell your kids if they play in it, they will have to drink it later.

— Fill your propane tanks; if you have a fireplace, get some wood inside. Yes, it’s summer, but you may have to cook in that thing.

— Don’t forget your pets! Make sure you have an adequate supply of dog/cat food (and snacks) so you don’t have to go out.

— Get your laundry done now. Especially if, like me, you have a kid headed to college on Sunday (now Monday) who still hasn’t packed. Knot a cord and whip that child until he/she has every piece of clothing they need washed and dried and folded away.

— Harvest what you can from your garden before the storm hits. This may be the last harvest you get.

— Charge everything that can be charged, gas up the cars and hang tight.

— Make sure you have bathroom tissue. Also, paper towels, paper plates and paper cups and plastic utensils; you don’t want to be wasting water supplies on clean-up unless you are super-well supplied. If you feel guilty about it, you can compost the paper goods, later.

— Pray ’em if you know ’em.

Melissa Clouthier, who as been to this rodeo a few times, has a supercomprehensive list of things to bear in mind or in home. I confess I hadn’t thought of bleach or cash.

I have been glued to Brendan Loy’s excellent weathernerdy twitterfeed, and recommend it to you. He’s kind enough to take time to answer questions, and everything!

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