As many of our east coast readers may already be well-aware, hurricane Irene is heading your way. If you’re reading this instead of preparing, first off, stop reading this and go prepare. What are you, an idiot? Secondly, I understand that many of you northern east coast cities don’t get many hurricanes, thus you don’t have a very strong fear of hurricanes ingrained in your DNA like those of us from the lower regions of the east coast. Namely, people like me who hail from Miami. Knowing that there might be or most certainly is a massive cloud-based catastrophe looming on the horizon of our city must be what it feels like to live anywhere in Middle Earth knowing full-well that Mordor and all of its many evils and horrors was justright over there. It was literally within walking distance from anywhere important. That’s what those movies are all about: one cannot simply walk in to Mordor, but one can certainly walk to Mordor. When it comes to Miami, Mordor is a hurricane, and that shit walks to you. All the time.
Seeing as I’ve lived though many a hurricane over the last two-and-a-half decades, some weak, some disastrous, I feel I am at least somewhat qualified to give you some friendly advice – advice from someone that views hurricanes as just as commonplace and boring as the characters in Steve Martin’s L.A. Story view earthquakes.
Of course, the advice you east coasters should really be taking is that of local meteorologists and news anchors, because quite frankly, I kind of an idiot; but I’m an idiot with experience. And plus, I’ve watched many nature videos to boot – that counts as experience too, right?
The Eye Of The Storm
The winds will thrash and the rains will beat on your doors and windows something fierce. It will be a terrifying experience. But then, suddenly, it will all stop. All will be calm. It will be as though there were no hurricane hovering over your head, destroying everything only a few miles around you.
This is the eye of the hurricane. The eye is a mysterious bitch of a phenomenon. It tricks people in to believing the worst of the storm is over, when in actuality you’re only halfway through it. Growing up in Miami, we were constantly told to never, ever leave the house when there is a sudden calm because it may just be that the eye is overhead. Once the eye moves on, good luck making it back to your house before your legs sliced away and replaced with a blood-stained stop sign.
Also, the eye, like the volcano, is Mother Nature’s puckered asshole.
True Story: During hurricane Andrew, one of my elementary school teachers left his home during the eye of the storm, thinking it had past and it was safe to assess the damage to his house. He was wrong. It was the eye of the storm, and only minutes after he stepped out of his front door, the storm picked up again and Mother Nature beat him silly with a palm frond. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, if you consider a couple dozen cuts to the face and a black eye “not too bad” then sure, go ahead, take a trip outside during the eye and see what happens. Palm fronds traveling at 50 mph outright refuse to f*ck around.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Water
It may sound simple, but it makes all the difference in the world. When the hurricane a strikes, especially any hurricane above a category 1, there’s a very good chance all of the household utilities you take for granted will be cut off. No electric, no water, no to everything. Not having electricity is manageable. So what if you can’t play Call of Duty for a few days, or can’t check in to Holy Taco for your daily dose of immaturity and dick jokes? But you know what will really suck? Taking a shit in a toilet in which the water never automatically refills in to the bowl. With no running water, your toilets will still flush, but after a couple of flushes you will have effectively used up all the toilet water you’ve got left. Having a stockpile of water (in bottles, jugs, and a filled up bathtub) will give you all the water you need to flush your waste.
True Story: We had to borrow water from our neighbor because we miscalculated how long our neighborhood would be without utilities. A turd sitting in a bone dry toilet bowl in a house with no A/C during the summer is like living through some bizarre Nazi psychological experiment to find out whether or not festering poop rot illicits thoughts of madness, thoughts of becoming a recluse and taking on the identity of Scatomore, the Lord of Feces. (Hint: it does).
Your Local Home Depot Will Be A Disaster…Before The Hurricane Hits
If you’ve been to a Home Depot on a typical weekend then you know how hectic the place can get, what with all the weekend warriors out and about gathering manly supplies so that they may look useful as they build manly things in an attempt to get their wives to f*ck them.
When a storm’s-a-comin’ EVERYONE TURNS IN TO THESE MEN. Women, children, sissy-men that have no idea how to put up a hurricane shutter (hey, that’s me!) – everyone crams in to Home Depot to buy planks of wood and various safety items. This will turn your local Home Depot, and any hardware store, in to a raging hell-pit of pseudo-alpha males. People, who in their normal lives are nothing more than subservient peons, suddenly turn in to Jack Bauer, doing everything in their power to protect their families and homes. While the sentiment is wonderful, this turns what should be a corporative shopping experience in which everyone aides one-another in this time of need and preparation in to being an extra in someone else’s Roland Emmerich-style disaster movie. To other people you are nothing more than the Red Shirt in Star Trek that dies just to heighten the tension for our main characters, who we all know will still be alive by the end of the episode.
While at Home Depot, you will witness the worst of humanity; but don’t let this get you down, because occasionally you will witness some of the absolute best humanity has to offer. How so? Well…
True Story: While preparing for one of the many hurricanes I lived through as a child, nearly every hardware store in the area had run out of the large planks of wood people use to board up their windows. As my mom and I were leaving probably our third or fourth hardware store empty handed, a guy with a massive truckload of wood asked us if we needed any. We said yes, maybe a couple, seeing as we didn’t have many windows. So the guy just gave them to us. Free of charge. He even helped us load them atop my mom’s shitty ’89 Ford Escort. When asked why he just gave them to us, the guy said he owned a number of homes in Miami that he was in the process of flipping, and obviously, he wanted to protect his investments. He purchased a metric f*ckton of wood, quickly realized he didn’t need that much, and then just started giving them out for free to random people.
I don’t know where that guy is today, but I like to think he flew back to Krypton to reconnect with his family.