Your Hurricane Survival Kit

Hello, Irene. We don’t mean to be rude, but we’d rather not have you stay with us this weekend. Thanks. (Image: NOAA)

If you’re reading this, a hurricane is probably barreling its way toward you. Or you’re just a bored stormchaser surfing the interwebs. Either way, fear not — we’re going to make the most of this natural disaster.

There are a few basics you must have, even if the chances of getting hit are relatively minimal: (1) nonperishable foods, (2) toiletries, (3) lights/candles and (4) WATER. FEMA recommends stocking up on a three-day supply of these items. For water, that means three gallons per person (we go through about a gallon a day). No, booze does not count toward this figure.

When it comes to hurricane food, nonperishable items — you know, the kind that won’t expire until your grandchildren join AARP — are the best way to go. However, it’s a good idea to have some fruit and vegetables on hand for the first day or two, just so you don’t go into carb fatigue. (Seriously, if the power’s out and you’ve spent the whole day munching on chips and PB&J, you’ll start to feel pretty sloth-like.) Go for some of these:

  • Protein bars
  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Granola
  • Mixed nuts/trail mix
  • Honey
  • Muffins or biscuits
  • Bread
  • Fruit: apples, berries, bananas, grapes, cherry tomatoes, oranges, peaches, plums, nectarines
  • Dried fruit and canned fruit (think apricots, pineapple chunks and/or mandarin oranges)
  • Vegetables: baby carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, edamame, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower florets, etc.
  • Crackers (or chocolate animal crackers, if you share my insatiable sweet tooth)
  • Chocolate (Because if you’re trapped indoors, you might as well have some small indulgences)
The Weather Channel’s projected path for Irene as of Aug. 26 at 5 p.m.

What You Need in Your Hurricane Survival Arsenal:

So you’ve got plenty of food and water, now what? Here are the other major supplies you’ll want on hand:

  • Alternative Light Sources: A flashlight (with extra batteries), candles (and matches!), a crank lamp or lantern for the main room
  • An Evacuation Bag: Store cash, your cell phone and charger, IDs/wallet, keys and snacks in a duffel bag in case you need to leave at a moment’s notice
  • A notebook and pen, books/magazines and board games — You know, those things people used to entertain themselves before TV and the Internet (Weird, right?)
  • Can opener
  • First Aid: Bandages, Neosporin, tweezers and gauze are always good to have on hand, just in case

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip -- Recipe Below

If You’re Hosting a Hurricane Party:

  • EAT:
  • DO:
    • Prepare a few games in case the power goes out: charades, Balderdash (or the freegan version, which involves choosing a word at random from the dictionary and having everyone make up definitions), a stack of cards (Rummy, anyone? Good ol’ fashioned War? How about Go Fish, punks?), Pictionary, Yahtzee, Scrabble…or any old board game, really.
    • Dance party! If the windows are boarded up and it’s all gloomy outside anyway, (literally) crank up that radio and get moving. Bonus points if you paint the boards on your windows with glow-in-the-dark paint, just because that would make me smile.
    • Build a tent. Hey, it was fun when you were five. Okay, okay, maybe some things are best left to the past. But if you wind up babysitting during a storm, trust me — this works like a charm every time.
    • Frat-tastic games: Flip cup and beer pong don’t require electricity, you know.

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