We are all running around searching for water, batteries and storm supplies to prepare for a possible hit from Hurricane Dorian, which is rapidly intensifying.
The governor has declared a state of emergency. All of Florida is in the cone of death.
I’ve already shared my helpful grocery store checklist of storm essentials (don’t forget the can opener!) and other safety supplies. But true Floridians know there is a second, more important list of items to buy that will help make life easier if we have to batten down the hatches.
Buy booze. Water likely will be sold out of most places, so stock up on the next best thing: liquor, beer and wine. They need no refrigeration. Speaking of water, here’s a great tip: Fill zip-seal freezer bags from the tap about 3/4 full to allow for expansion, seal them well and lay them flat in the freezer. They can then be used to keep food cold if power goes out and double as drinking water. What am I saying? We all know the power will go out with the first whiff of wind.
Do laundry. Laundry may be the last thing on your mind as your significant other starts flinging hammers across the yard while cussing out the storm shutters. But if a storm hits, there will be no water from the tap. Bonus: You’ll be ahead on that tiresome chore if the storm bypasses us (fingers crossed).
Ice ’em down. Now that the laundry’s done, right before the storm hits, fill the washing machine tub with ice to chill the drinks. The ice is also handy to make blended beverages. Bonus: After the ice melts, you’ll have a full tub of water. Speaking of which, my colleague Ron Hurtibise has this great tip: Buy a clean 30-gallon garbage can. Set it up on the patio near a door. (It won’t blow away because water is heavy. A gallon weighs 8.34 pounds.) Line the can with a heavy-duty garbage bag and fill it up with the hose. Put the lid on. The water can be used to flush toilets after a storm.
Buy a power inverter. Hey, you’ve got to run that blender when the power’s out. These handy devices hook up to car batteries and convert 12-volt direct current into 120-volt AC current. They are available at home improvement stores. Prices start at about $30. They’re also very handy for making coffee — you’ll likely have a hangover from stress-drinking — after the storm. Better yet, buy a portable generator and don’t forget the gas and oil. And for goodness sake, don’t run it in the garage or house. Carbon monoxide, an odorless, invisible gas, is deadly.
Get money. Hit up the ATM or bank for cash. You’ll need it to bribe the neighbors for their stash when you run out of booze. (See first tip.)
Buy prayer candles. These are great to light the way when the power goes out. The candles can be found at the Dollar Tree, Target, Walmart and drug stores. Even Publix. They are unscented and can burn up to 100 hours. Try to find the ones with saints on them, because we are going to need all the help we can get to steer this storm away from us and out to sea.
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