Po Boy Views
Hurricane: Not Just A Drink
Okay Sailor, you’ve made it through the Holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, King Cakes and Krewe du Vieux. Spring Break, Tennessee Williams, French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, May floods and every other occasion that this city can cram into your life; you know what I mean? So now, you think that you can just slide in to a long hot summer on the sweat from the small of your back? Not a chance, Sparky, don’t put them ballet/tap shoes away just yet; we’ve got another twirl around the dance floor for you. Welcome to “The New Orleans Hurricane Season”, in three part harmony; a block party extravaganza complete with food booths, brass bands, dancing girls and groping hand puppets!
First up, decision time: will you remain or are you splitting and exactly what is your criteria for making that decision? Stick around for a three or less or have your tent packed for ‘first sign of trouble’ bolting? Remember, the Mayor has told you that there’s no cavalry or welcome wagons for anyone deciding to ride one out, no shelters, no free lunch. Period. Yes, there’s pick up points for the bus out; but, there will be a point when the busses will stop running, so you need to make the call. Preferably now.
Alright, so you’ve got a jalopy that could take you out of Dodge; is it up to snuff? Had it tuned lately? How’s them tires? Got AAA? Is it in good enough shape to be in traffic from six to twenty four hours? Personally, I take mine to Will and Lenny’s before storm season to be as ready as I can be; I keep my tank full and have jumper cables, motor oil, steering fluid and basic tools in the trunk as a matter of course until October.
Also, do you have a ‘safe house’ destination to run to? The time to decide is before you leave; I recommend some friend that’s within a day’s drive and doesn’t mind your bad jokes and menagerie.
Should you decide to ‘hunker down’, as they say, do you have your supplies and creature comforts in stock for such an occasion?
Here’s a list: batteries and battery operated fans, flashlights and radios; one of the things that we do is to have about twenty of those solar lights in the garden and front yard and we let them charge in the daytime and then if the power fails we bring them indoors at night. Simple; not enough light to read with, but enough so that I won’t trip over the furniture, run into doors or inadvertently step on the cat.
Also, you need food for you and your critters and possibly some way to cook, should your gas get shut off. Got a Weber or some such? Better get some charcoal, firewood or propane and matches, don’t forget matches! During the last one we rode out we were without power for over a week which means that the stuff in our fridge only lasted two days before it started to go south; which was why we had very little in the fridge and only a small amount in the freezer. Consider that and get you in some canned stuff that you can heat up.
Water, water and water. Fill up jugs, barrels, bottles and your tub when you suspect ill winds. Water to wash, drink, brush your teeth, give to the dog, make coffee with and trade for whiskey. Speaking of which, how’s your wine cellar?
Do you have ice chests? You’ll probably be able to get ice up until the final moments and make sure that what you keep in them are cleanly packaged (you may have to drink that melted ice). Enjoy that cold beer while you can.
Now, what about amusements other than debris cleanup and visiting the neighbors to trade water for the insect repellant that you forgot to stock up on. Do you have books to read? Don’t forget that should your stay become protracted, your electronic devices will eventually go down (say good night Kindle). How about board games, storytelling and marshmallow roasting? S’mores anyone? Hand puppets? Keep a journal. Break out your crayons, jacks, checkers, marbles and sidewalk chalk (hopscotch anyone?).
Should you give consideration to boarding up your windows? I dunno, but you should have already thought about that, y’know?
Say, this is starting to sound like the best decision would be to visit Granny for the summer, isn’t it? Well, playing the devil’s advocate for a second consider this: we stay for cat 3 or less; why? Because, with the necessary precautions we’re pretty sure that there will be no injuries (oh, don’t forget your First Aid kit); and then it’s just like camping, only at your own home. Besides, do you know how much it costs to evacuate? I do. The last time we evacationed (for what was not a strong blow) it was over a thousand dollars for the week. I don’t know about you, but, I could have spent that dough on something good!
Plus, I kinda look forward to having the time off from work and a chance to get some stuff done around the house that I’ve been putting off. I charge up the electric drill and any batteries that I may have a need for and get ready for some major guy stuff. In fact, the staycation is all about guy stuff. But as they say: “’sup to you”. Besides, it’s an adventure, it’s getting to plan stuff AND it’s an excuse to do some major shopping! I figure I got a thousand bucks that I’m saving by staying, so, I can afford to buy some toys; and BONUS!, I’ll get to eat all the ice cream before it melts!