[source] Happy hurrication! Sandy. Such a sweet name, such a vicious storm. For the past few days Sandy has been the main topic of conversation around here. How bad will it be? Will we lose power? Will the MTA shut down (it did as of last night)? Should we evacuate? There is an eerie calm in my neighborhood this morning. Looking out my window there is no one on the street. The skies are grey. With everything closed and cancelled there is nothing to do but wait for Sandy to show up. My plans for today include catching up on my DVR, reading in my favorite chair, cleaning out my office and hallway closets, visiting my niece and nephew upstairs, and cooking dinner (provided we still have power!)
In general I feel that the media tends to sensationalize hurricanes in order to induce panic in people. I was not here for Hurricane Irene (we very lucky to be on our honeymoon in the Maldives), but my sister and various friends tell me it was a bit of a let down. A lot of hype, very little actual storm (at least in NYC).
I am hoping Sandy will not be as disastrous as predicted, but it is still always best to be safe and prepared. Doug and I live half a block from the current mandatory evacuation zone ( it starts on our corner). While it is not mandatory we skip town, everything in our neighborhood is shut as of last night until further notice. We stand a very high chance of losing power as I don't think a hurricane really discriminates in half block increments. While we could have vacated to a hotel, or one of our parents homes we have chosen to stay put. We are just more comfortable at home, even without power.
I am not one to go into full on panic ridden hurricane preparation made, but I have taken a few steps to insure that the next few days are comfortable.
Water, Water, Water
You don't realize how much water you use in a day until it stops running. From drinking, to brushing your teeth, to flushing the toilet water is very necessary. While everyone else was busy buying up plastic bottled water at the store, I filled all of the glass jars in our apartment with tap water and then left them in the fridge. In my opinion NYC water is some of the finest there is. I will drink it any day over bottled water. Many of the the plastic bottles used to house bottled water contain BPA which is not something I want anywhere near my mouth! As far as flushing the toilet a great tip is to fill your bathtub with water in advance. Once the water in your toilet tank runs out you can use the water from the bathtub to refill your tank and keep you toilet flushing!
The Whole Foods where we do all of our grocery shopping is in the evacuation zone and has been closed until the storm passes. Yesterday we made a run to stock up on essentials so that we won't starve throughout the storm. While most people would suggest stocking up on canned food and non perishables, these just don't appeal to me. If we do lose power our fridge will hold a cool temperature long enough to keep most of our food ok. With the exception of a few items (OMilk, green juice) most of our supplies can last outside of the fridge. While I prefer a cold, crisp apple a room temperature one will be just fine. This is one of the perks of not keeping meat or dairy in the house, you don't have to worry about anything turning rancid or rotten!
Let There Be Light
The worst part of losing power? No lights. While at first the idea sounds romantic, the reality is not so much fun. Especially if you are a klutz like me and tend to bump into things in broad daylight! I don't like burning candles as I am not crazy about inhaling smoke. Many candles are artificially scented and those are toxic chemicals I would prefer to not breathe in. Luckily, Doug was at his parent's house upstate this weekend and brought home a bunch of battery powered lanterns for us to use in case of a power outage. They are much brighter than candles and a lot less messy and smokey!
Turn It Up
While the temperature outside is mild, without power and heat it will quickly turn cold inside our apartment. When the storm really starts to pick up we plan on turning our heat up higher than usual in the hope that if we lose power the apartment will retain the temperature for awhile. If that doesn't work their are always layers!