Last winter, I wrote about how the Great Blizzard of 2010 caught me off guard, which led to me in the event of blizzards, blackout and hurricanes.
Guess what? I forgot to include earthquakes in the list.
One of the side benefits of having a completely childproof house is that it is also earthquake-proof. L-brackets secure all my bookshelves and tall furniture to the walls with L brackets, so nothing fell over during . However, that event was an excellent wakeup call for disaster preparation. I didn't realize quite how quickly I would need my disaster kit until Wednesday evening when the Movie Under the Stars got canceled due to pre-hurricane winds (the kids were disappointed to not see Toy Story 3) and the Hoboken mayor sent out an .
Evacuation is not an option for my family since all of my relatives live in areas equally at risk for flooding from a category 1 hurricane. With Hurricane Irene scheduled to make ground on Saturday, that gives me 24 hours to batten down the hatches and get my family ready to outlast the storm. A storm surge could cause flood waters as high as ten feet in Hoboken, so we might lose electricity for several days while we wait for them to recede.
I spent the morning checking my existing disaster supplies and making a shopping list to last my family for a week. I already have plenty of water, working flashlights and garbage bags, so my list included food (almonds, granola bars, healthy cereal, juice, shelf-stable milk), C batteries, duct tape, battery-powered radio (can't find our old one) and a backup power supply to charge our cellphones.
I got all our supplies in Newport Center, Jersey City, driving first to Best Buy (they had three remaining backup power supplies when I was there), then the A&P and finally Target. Everywhere I went I saw shoppers who were clearly stocking up for the hurricane (the huge jugs of water and bulk packs of batteries were a tipoff). A&P had ample food supplies and plenty of shelf-stable whole milk, although they were running low on low-fat milk. The Target camping section was picked bare by 3 p.m. today.
After unloading my car and dividing up supplies with the three other households I am helping, I parked my car for $30 per day in an upper level at the Sky Club parking garage on Second Street between Harrison Street and Marshall Drive. My husband and I want to keep our car handy in case we need to make a getaway (although we probably will need a boat in that event).
Now that the basics are taken care of, I am cooking meals (shepherd's pie and apple pie) to use up our perishable food supplies before the storm hits. Fingers crossed for happy sailing in Hoboken!