The latest news on Hurricane Florence is it will most likely miss Virginia. Early models had Florence making landfall on the North Carolina coast and then turning north to Virginia and then stalling over the greater Richmond/Central Virginia area. But now those models have changed. The latest predictions are that Florence will make landfall on the North Carolina coast and then continue to travel west and maybe a little south before it dissipates. If that’s the case then Virginia will be spared from the bulk of damage causing effects such as 100 plus mile per hour winds and flooding conditions. We’ll still get rain, but not too much.
But it’s always better to be safe than sorry and considering the hurricane models continue to change, we thought it wise to continue our hurricane preparations just in case. Here are a few tips that we hope are helpful:
More Beer– Buy beer. A stockpile of beer is always a good idea. Wine and hard liquor are good too, but beer takes time to drink and if the power goes out then you’ll have to pass the time and a steady drinking pace is both enjoyable and time consuming. A 12 pack won’t do, buy more beer than that.
Non-perishable food items– Buy food that is meant to last long that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Cans of tuna are the best bet as they are packed with protein. Peanut butter, pickles, and beef jerky are excellent choices that last long and keep you full.
Bottled water– Either from the tap or from the store you are going to want to stock up on water. In a flooding situation, especially in rural communities, water supplies can become contaminated. It could be days after a storm hits before tap water is ok to drink again. And don’t buy Evian, it’s delicous but too expensive to purchase in large quantities. You’re best off saving gallon jugs of Deer Park and filling them up with tap water before the storm hits, but that’s if you have already saved those jugs (I have 12 saved from over the last month or so).
Charcoal grill– Clean off your Weber and make sure you have plenty of charcoal (propane is for Hank Hill). A charcoal grill can handle a lot, including boiling water for spaghetti.
Toilet paper– No explanation needed.
Duct Tape– The universal solution to fixing everything is to duct it. The storm could cause damage to your house or apartment. Duct tape can help seal up windows, door frames, and, well, fix absolutely anything that breaks.
Do laundry– If the power goes out then you won’t be able to do laundry so catch up on your dirty laundry ahead of time. No one wants to be stuck with the same pair of underwear for several days.
Get a full tank of gas– You may have to get out of Dodge on a moment’s notice so best to have the gas to do so before hitting the highway. Also, supply and demand principles tend to say that gas prices will go up after a storm so save a nickel and fill up now.
Take out some cash– If the power is out everywhere then plastic won’t work in making purchases. Of course, if the power is out then stores will likely be closed but some can stay open on generators. Cash always talks and it never breaks. And Waffle House accepts cash and they’ll be open.
Flashlight and batteries– Make sure you have a trusty flashlight and extra batteries. Making your way around the house in the dark may be a hazardous task.
Keep your devices plugged in– Keep your cell phone, tablet, and laptop computer plugged in right up to when the power goes off, that way you’ll maximize the opportunity to use them.
Books– Pull a few books from your collection to have handy. I suggest long and interesting books that will take time to finish. I have pulled The Sea and Civilization; A Maritime History of the World by Lincoln Paine and Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer.
Watch Black Panther– For those of you with Netflix, watch Black Panther before the storm hits. If you lose power then understand that it is unwise to use up the battery on your laptop or tablet watching a two hour movie. Black Panther is newly available on the streaming service, it’s a very entertaining film, and you’ll have to wait to see it if you lose power. Why wait? Watch it tonight.
Stay safe, everyone.