Water, canned food, batteries, flashlights, check. Yes, you should do all of the crap that The Weather Channel and your homeowners insurance company’s website and the National Hurricane Center tell you to. If you don’t live in a usual hurricane zone, think about buying some Plylox online if you want to protect windows or glass doors with plywood. Get cash and gas and fill your bathtub with water, blah blah blah. But here’s the stuff you REALLY need:
D batteries. As soon as the possible hurricane is announced, buy all of the D batteries in a 10 mile radius. OK, maybe that’s too many. But buy a few big bundles at Costco. When everyone figures out two days before the storm that they need D batteries and all of the stores are sold out, your D battery stash will make you either (a) a hero, or (b) rich. I was at Walgreen’s yesterday picking up some last minute supplies, and while I was in line, no fewer than six people came in looking for D batteries. (They had been sold out for days). Whoever has the D batteries has the power.
A trench coat. Because what is more awesome than standing outside the grocery store or Target and whipping open your trench coat, muttering, “Wanna buy some D batteries?” Note: this will probably only work before major storms. I wouldn’t suggest trying this on a random Tuesday. (But if you do, let me know how it goes for you.)
Toilet paper. NO! NO! NO! You do not need any more toilet paper than usual. Why do people stock up on this? We are not going to be defending our toilet paper stashes with shotguns and looting in the streets. We’re just going to be camping in our houses for a few days and eating peanut butter and jelly. You do not need 36 rolls of toilet paper, I promise.
Ant spray. You’re gonna be moving stuff from the backyard and patio into some sort of storage. This is stuff you don’t move often. Ants will be living in/under some of this stuff. Not just living, but breeding, forming colonies, planning hostile takeovers, building high-rise condos. You’re gonna pick up a Little Tikes picnic table or a long-abandoned beach bucket and find ten-bajillion ants frantically moving eggs trying to find new safety. It will suck. But it will suck less with a big can of ant spray. My inner Buddhist cringes, and so does my inner environmentalist. I didn’t kill the nests of spiders I found even though they were really, really gross, but ants... shudder... I’m sorry ants, just no. Buh-bye.
Toys from the dollar store. No power means no TV. No Wii. You need novelty. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days? One new toy per child per hour times 14 awake hours per day for at least three days. Cost per child at the dollar store? $42. Value of not listening to bored whining for three days? Priceless.
Booze. You need it. No power means no TV. No facebook. No twitter. No TV for your kids. You need booze. I won’t speculate on quantities per day, but you don’t want to run out. Booze will make the hurricane into a party. Wheeeee!
Condoms. No TV. No facebook. Seriously, when the power goes out there is Nothing. To. Do. Get whatever you need to get your mojo on, because at some point, you’re gonna get bored, and if you have a partner, they’ll be there all sexy and bathed in candlelight and looking like fifteen solid minutes of entertainment. And if you don’t have a partner, that’s no deterrent. You just won’t need the condoms (but you might need some extra batteries).
Naughty foods. In the great hunkering down of a storm, I say screw the diet. You might STARVE! You should fatten up in case civilization as we know it comes to an end. I know I said there wouldn’t be looting, but there might be. You don’t know. The extra fat on your ass from that bag of Fritos or Otterbein’s chocolate chip cookies might just SAVE YOUR LIFE! Why risk it? Fatten up.
Buckle up, my east coast readers, and try to enjoy the ride.