It’s been a little over two weeks since Hurricane Sandy came through New York City. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on everything I’ve been through with the storm, I’m wondering if I should have handled things differently. For starters, I’m reviewing my emergency preparedness.
I’m not a big planner. Maybe some people would think that’s a bad thing. Not me. I enjoy living for the moment and hoping for the best. My friend, Monica, is totally the opposite. She plans everything, anticipates the worst, and gets ready for it.
A couple of days before Sandy hit, Monica suggested I consider flying to Austin to get away from the storm. I gave it some thought and declined. I really wanted to see what it’s like to be in a hurricane.
“If you’re going to stay are you at least prepared?” she asked me. “Do you have batteries, water, and directions for the nearest Emergency Evacuation Route?”
“Not exactly,” I replied, “I have a vanilla candle and Hunter rain boots. Other than that, I figure I can just wing it.”
At first, I thought maybe the storm had already kicked the cell towers out because there was silence on the line. Finally, she spoke.
“Are you kidding me?” she said incredulously. “You at least need water.”
“I’m friends with a couple of hotel concierges,” I told her, “They’ll give me water if I need it.”
“Seriously?” she replied sounding more like my mother than my friend. “You need to go to the store and get water. Do you have a car?”
“Yes,” I told her, “It’s in Indiana.”
“Listen, Dee Dee, you’re giving me a heart attack,” Monica shouted. “You have to be prepared! I have water, extra batteries, hurricane lamps, a Coleman stove, and two emergency toilets for emergencies like this!”
That’s where she got me. Emergency toilets?
“Why on Earth do you have emergency toilets?” I asked her, “I’ve never even heard of such a thing.”
“Well,” she explained, “a couple of years ago there was a hurricane headed towards Texas. I went straight to Sam’s Club, Target, and REI to pick up supplies. I practically tackled an old lady for the last pallet of water, and I ordered the emergency toilets from Amazon on a Next Day delivery.”
Let’s get something straight. Monica lives in Austin, Texas. Last time I checked, it’s in the middle of the state. That’s why they call it “Central” Texas. What would she get from a hurricane? A little wind?
“So did it help?” I asked.
“Well, no,” she answered, “The storm missed Texas completely, but at least I was prepared if something did happen.”
“I’ll be okay,” I assured her, “In fact, I think I’ll go to the Hurricane Bar tonight for a drink.”
That’s exactly what I did. I even sent Monica a picture of the Hurricane Bar’s signature drink.
I obviously survived. It was quite an experience, but I made it. Now that it’s over, though, I question whether I really did the right thing.
Being in a hurricane is really a life changing event. It forces you to think about things like how you would prepared if a hurricane was heading your way. Would you be like Monica with six months of provisions and disaster toilets or would you be like me with a bottle of water and a vanilla candle?
How Sandy ready are you?