If you don't reside on the eastern seaboard, odds are good that you'll have a much less stressful weekend than those of us who do. Because over here on the east coast, we're all freaking out over Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a. "Frankenstorm," who will make her very unwelcome appearance sometime early next week.
And even though we still have a couple days before what they're saying could possibly be the worst storm in 100 years (WTF?) hits, it's probably a good idea to spend a better part of this weekend preparing our homes for a direct hit -- and potentially losing power for days. (Remember Irene and Snowtober? Yeah, it's not worth taking any chances this time.)
Here are seven tips on how to get your house ready for the storm, and hopefully save yourself a lot of mental anguish once the rain and wind arrive.
1. Get a generator -- My family and I weren't taking any chances this time, so we bought a generator that will run the necessities in our house like the heat, water, and refrigerator, and also a couple luxury items like lights and the TV. If you act quickly, you may still be able to get one and maintain some sort of sanity in the event of a prolonged power outage.
2. Stock up immediately -- If you haven't done so, head to the store now (yes, RIGHT now) to pick up flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and other essential provisions. Odds are good that by the end of the weekend, most store shelves will be virtually cleaned out. (While you're at it, fill up the cars with gas too. And oh yeah, take cash out of the ATM, because your debit card won't work if the power is out.)
3. Secure outdoor furniture -- They're predicting wind gusts over 50 mph in some places, so having patio or deck furniture still sitting outside when the storm hits probably isn't the best idea. If nothing else, Frankenstorm gives us a great excuse to finally take it inside and store it for the season.
4. Gather extra blankets -- If the power does go out, the temperature in the house will drop fairly quickly, so make sure you have plenty of extra covers near all the beds so you don't have to dig them out in the middle of the night.
5. Switch everything off -- In the event that the power does go out, make sure to turn off any appliances, lights, etc. you were using prior to it being restored. Otherwise, when it does come back on, a power surge could potentially cause a fire in your home.
6. Do the laundry -- I know, I know, it sounds a little bit hokey to be thinking about laundry with a hurricane looming. But you can't do the laundry once the power goes out, and you'll be really thankful to have clean clothes ready when it does.
7. Book a hotel room -- If you don't have a generator and can't bear the thought of being cooped up in your home during a power outage, it's best to try and find a hotel room now, as most of them have generators. You can always cancel it if we maintain power, but better to be safe than sorry. Once the lights go out, you'll never be able to get a room.
What else are you doing to prepare for Frankenstorm?
Image via NASA/Flickr