Lessons from Irma: 5 things to add to your hurricane readiness kit today

Lindsay Chamberlin

Click “hurricane supply list” on any site, and all the captains of obvious will tell you not to forget a flashlight and fresh batteries. Thanks. (And how awesome was it for your out-of-state relatives to call and share that particular wisdom? Bless their hearts.) It was a busy September in the tropics, so now seems like a good time to cover the real necessities:

 

  1. Febreeze. Who else forgot that their house smelled like a dumpster fire when the air conditioning goes out for a couple of days? It’s time to relive our college days and douse all the fabrics in our homes with Febreeze — and this time, not just the armpits of our going-out shirts.
  2. A box or two of wine. It stays fresh longer, and we won’t have to track a bottle stopper from the junk drawer with our freshly battery-filled flashlight. (Thanks again, distant relatives!)
  3. Compact discs. That’s right. It’s time to raid the hope chest in search of your ’90s treasures. If you put batteries in your boom box so you could listen to the weather reports, consider the possibilities! What’s going to make you feel better next time the 120 mph winds are howling and the shutters are banging against the wall — Danny Treanor or Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”? (Yeah, that’s what I thought.)
  4. A list of lofty goals. Every parent has a thing or two they would love to sit down and do with their child, but it seems like there is never any time. When the battery life on the iPad has come to an end, there’s no need to panic. This is a great time to tackle shoe-tying or long division, but this will require planning and patience. (See number two above.)
  5. Cold coffee. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My husband and I heated water by lighting the gas stove with a match and pouring it through the coffee pot. Believe it or not, this was preceded by a lengthy debate — about whether or not this could potentially blow up the entire house — and then a quick risk versus reward assessment. Next time we rush out for bottled water, we’ll be picking up a case of cold brew.

I hope you and your family made it out of Irma without significant damage and with a power outage short enough to feel like a camping adventure.

At the end of November, we can put this hurricane season in the rearview and have another great story to tell. Hopefully, we’ve got another decade before we need to worry about it.

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