There's a very daunting list of things that you should do to be prepared for Hurricane Irene on the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's disaster supply kit page. Let me just say they don't make these lists with busy moms in mind. I take natural disasters seriously and want to do all I can to keep my family safe, but I do not have a disaster supply kit. I do not even have my son's baby book filled out past 9 months and he's now 8 years old. The way I move, it would take me a week to do everything on that list (sealing all my important documents in a water-tight container? seriously? can someone please tell me where all my important documents even are?).
I'm guess I'm a little edgy right now, just having lived through a devastating earthquake and all. But I've found in cases like this, when we're not in the direct path of the hurricane and it's unclear what the force of wind and rain will be, it's not surviving the weather that I most worry about.
It's surviving being locked inside with the kids for three days without power and nothing to do. I've learned from my mistakes so you don't have to -- do these six things and you're set.
1. Grab a couple gallons of water from the store. This is on the disaster list, but I'm telling you to go buy that water NOW. Do not wait 'til the day before the storm to go with the kids, because shopping with them is a nightmare as it is. Adding that to that boatloads of other crazy, hyper, panicky people is insane.
2. Make sure the grill has gas. If the storm knocks out your power, you won't be able to make mac and cheese and the kids will starve. Your grill can save the day! Stick a couple of packs of hot dogs, hamburgers, and some frozen chicken fingers in the freezer, so at least if the power goes out, you'll get a day or so out of them.
3. Dig out your landline from the crap in the basement. If the power goes out, your cellphone might too. Your landline might be the only way to communicate in an emergency, like when your son trips in the dark and needs stitches on his chin. Because in a mom's world, when it rains, it pours.
4. Charge your flashlight and buy some candles. I love the "fake" candles that don't require a real flame -- they are great to have when you have lots of curious little hands around the house.
5. Scrub your toilets. Because in a power outage with no water, they are going to get very dirty.
6. Unearth the board games. Or go shopping for some (quick!) if you don't have any. It's a good time to try some new ones so the kids will stay interested longer.
Hmm, a stormy night, candlelit dinner, and a Candy Land marathon. This hurricane is not sounding so bad after all.
Are you prepared for Hurricane Irene? What do you do to make sure the kids are all right?
Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr