As a native Floridian, I have seen more than my share of tropical weather. More importantly, as a second-generation Floridian, I have heard a number of horror stories about hurricanes going all the way back to the 1940’s. So, forget what the nifty brochure from the grocery store tells you about how to prepare for a hurricane.
Here’s what you really need to know.
1. Everything Runs On Electricity
Not only will your lights go out, but unless you have an alarm clock with a battery back-up, you’re going to be late for something. No one expects you to get up and go to work during a hurricane, but what about after the storm passes?
We all have bills to pay and some bosses are dicks and will want you back at work as soon as the storm passes. So get an alarm clock with a battery back-up and some batteries.
Driving – Gas pumps are powered by electricity, as are traffic lights and street lights. But here’s one thing people forget…the garage door opener. Make sure you have the dexterity to manually open your garage door or have someone who can help you. Ever try to lift one of those? Those are freaking heavy as shit!
Imagine not being able to get your car out of the garage if you have to evacuate.
If you are one of those weirdos who still has a landline, your super-duper, ten-line, caller id, hands-free cordless phone won’t work when the power is out. Think back to the clunky phone on your grandmother’s end table. You laugh now, but when the power is out, granny can still call for help. So, get a cheap unpowered cordless phone. Try Amazon.
Your internet connection may still be active, but your modem and wireless router will be useless without power. Invest in a UPS (uninterruptible power source), not the delivery company. If you have a laptop, keep it fully charged. You can power the laptop with the battery and keep the modem and router working with the UPS. Then come back to Mouth Fart to take you mind off the tree that’s now embedded in your roof.
Keep your cellphone fully charged. Consider getting an extra battery and charging it too. You can also get a solar cellphone charger. Of course, you have to wait until the sun comes out again to use it. And no, don’t even try shining a flashlight on the little solar panel. It’s not the same thing.
Now, you can just kill time and wait for the power to come back on. Honestly, how long is the longest blackout you’ve experienced? Not the boozing kind, a power outage. Thirty minutes? Two hours?
In 2004, there were three storms that hit Florida in September. It felt like every other weekend. The last one, Hurricane Jeanne hit the same areas rocked by the other two. There were parts of South Tampa that were without power for TWO WEEKS. Imagine no AC, no refrigeration, no microwave oven, no television, no hot water, no clean clothes and no internet porn for two weeks.
So, get some candles and plenty of wine (red – no refrigeration) and prepare for the chaos.