Be Prepared

If you live on the East Coast, you’re probably aware that a hurricane is headed our way. I don’t want to sound like Chicken Little but if we get wacked there’s a possibility that we could lose power for several days. My power gets knocked out often whenever my town experiences a bad thunderstorm, so a hurricane is a big deal. Now I’m not a paranoid bunker dwelling survivalist, but I’ve always appreciated the value of preparedness. So I want to pass along some tips to build an emergency kit in advance of Irene. My advice is to get your supplies today. Especially in NYC. The stores are bad enough on a weekend, so you can imagine what it’ll be like if people wait to the last minute to stock up. Remember the two women who slugged it out at Trader Joes? Try and avoid that! So here are my suggestions.

1. Have a flashlight for every person and enough batteries for them. I also have one of those Coleman LED lamps that take D batteries and can provide illumination for 66 hours on the low setting. Sitting in the dark is boring.

2. Top off your gas tank.

3. Have at least 100 dollars in cash in small denominations. The ATMs might go on the fritz and the stores might not be able to take credit cards. And if you don’t have money, how can you tip people? ☺

4. Have one gallon of water per person. Don’t forget Fido. Have a five-day supply for each person.

5. Charge your cell phone!

6. Have five days worth of food socked away. Chef Boyardee anyone? Don’t be squeamish. You’ll love the stuff if you’re hungry. Cereal is good in a pinch. I’d get some boxed milk and coffee as well. I’m evil if I don’t have my coffee. And don’t forget Fido has to eat, or he might eat you!

7. A camp stove is nice, especially if you have an electric stove! You can pick these up for cheap.

8. First aid kit. You might want to have some Tylenol and stuff around as well. Ladies, get those feminine hygiene products!

9. Condoms, lube and assorted toys. You’re gonna be stuck in your house. Might as well have some fun.

10. Battery operated or hand cranked radio. Your iPod might die.

11. Valium for people going though Internet/video game/Facebook withdrawal.

12. Can opener! Better than opening that Chef Boyardee with your teeth.

13. Get your medications refilled. Especially psych meds. You know who you are.

14. Utility knife.

15. Duct tape. Million and one uses.

16. Trash bags. Use them with duct tape to seal up a window.

17. Candles and matches. Get all romantic. (But be very careful with them!)

18. If you smoke and drink well, stock up. Call your dealer.

19. If you live in a flood zone, have a plan to get out of Dodge. Call your Mom if you have to crash on her couch.

20. A “Go Bag” with food, water, change of clothes and all your important documents should be prepped and ready to go if you got to head for the hills.

21. Deck of cards. You can use food in lieu of cash for betting. Or get kinky. Strip poker can be fun. It’s up to you.

22. TP, TP, TP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

23. Before the storm hits, take a shower. When you’re done, fill up your tub with water. Sounds crazy but, if you live in a high rise, you might not be able to flush your toilet. Why live in stink – especially if you’re eating Chef Boyardee?

Sounds like a lot. But even if Irene totally misses us and makes fools out of the doomsaying weatherman, it’s good to have this stuff around anyway. Hey, we had an earthquake! This isn’t an exhaustive list. And if you can’t get or don’t have these things, at least get the essentials – batteries, flashlights, food, condoms mind altering substances and water.

Be safe!

24 thoughts on “Be Prepared”

  1. thatgirl says:

    where might one find a hand-cranked radio? 🙂

    1. guru says:

      You can pick one up at Radio Shack for around $20.

  2. savannah says:

    stay safe and be prepared! xoxoxo

  3. Andrea says:

    Unless they close the restaurant I manage, this is just going to make my weekend a fucking nightmare!!! Fuck Irene!

    Guru replies: Man, my old boss would keep the place open! Always wanted to suck up every last nickel. I feel for you.

  4. Andrea says:

    The problem with where I work is that we expand to well over 200 seats in the summer, and even though Irene could be upon us, the guests want to know why I can’t sent a busboy outside to hold up an umbrella so they can make their complimentary fucking smores at the firepit. Time for a new job, maybe 🙂

  5. guru says:

    Even if there are gale force winds, I’m sure people will insist going out to dinner on Saturday night.

    One time, when I was working at The Bistro, a blizzard hit in the evening. By the time the snow was really falling at 9:30 or so most of the customers had decamped and we were getting ready to close up. Bus service was cancelled so the bus people and the cooks had no way to go home. So I and another waiter agreed to drive them.

    Of course, some ASSHOLE couple came in just before ten. And because the owner was there, we had to serve them. Well this couple ordered three courses, said, “We don’t want to be rushed” and took numerous smoke breaks. By the time they finished it was after midnight and a considerable amount of snow had fallen.

    As the man went to the bathroom before leaving, the woman, a now inebriated botox babe wearing a full length mink coat, pulled me aside and said.
    “This guy’s rich. But he lives poor. Who wants to be with a man like that?” I wanted to slap her silly.

    Long story short, we got the bus people and cooks home after a harrowing three hour drive. But I couldn’t make it home myself and had to crash at a friend’s house that night.

    If it’s bad Saturday and a restaurant owner doesn’t close, he or she should be tried for “weather crimes” by the International Court of Waiters in the Hauge. Oh, there’s no such organization?

    There should be.

  6. Tom says:

    Instead of filling your bathtub with water, fill your washing machine. Your bathtub will slowly empty itself – your washer will not. Survived Katrina that way!

  7. gail says:

    Fortunately I live well beyond Irene’s reach. But my daughter in Chapel Hill,NC told me Wed. that she couldn’t even find a gallon of milk in the stores. When Ike blew through the Gulf Coast (a year or two ago) my sister in Houston was without power for 10 days. Good luck, y’all!

  8. LilBit6_2 says:

    You forgot blankets or sleeping bags & pillows, in case you have to go to a shelter or the mattress gets blown away by a tornado. If you’re planning on “having fun,” might as well have a soft place to do it. In the first aid kit, include bug spray.

    Also, if you have kids, please remember to get their favorite stuffed animal or toy and some board or card games. My family was stuck in our bathroom for two hours waiting for Hurricane Charley to pass over, and my then-2-year-old was NOT a happy camper.

  9. Nom says:


    That’s a crazy story about working during a blizzard. What can possibly going through the mind of the Bistro’s owner, how much money can he squeeze out of that asshole couple anyways to justify keeping you guys working during a blizzard?

    Anyways, keep safe everyone during this hurricane, sounds like it’ll be a doozy.

  10. Colman says:

    Also charge the laptop.

    If you only have a PC, then get a book. Haha!

  11. Andie S says:

    Great guide 🙂 Always good to keep these things on hand normally so you don’t run into mobs while trying to acquire the supplies. Personally I have a 48 hr supply by my front door in a backpack in case of an emergency. I live in California so something’s always going on wildfires or earthquakes or something. Thanks for sharing Waiter! 🙂

  12. Mell says:

    Houston here, lived for 2-3 weeks without power after IKE.

    Get coal etc for the cookout the day after when you’re cooking up everything in the freezer that’s bout to spoil. And beer.

    Get a generator while you can, if they power goes out for more than a day or two they will be worth their weight in gold. keep it or sell it for 2x what you paid for it.

    also, as an insurance agent:
    If you need to file an insurance claim – don’t wait thinking we’re too busy.. yes we’re busy but you need to get on that list ASAP to be seen. Calling a few days or a week later means your adjustor probably won’t get to you for a month.

    Use common sense – go ahead an make temporary repairs, get the roof tarped after it stops raining, don’t leave it open to the elements. If your house floods, go ahead and pull the carpet out after the water goes down but save 1 square foot of the carpet and jute if you’re gonna throw it out for the adjustor to see. Take photos of anything you’re going to throw out if you want to claim it on the insurance. The adjustor needs to see the damage to be able to pay you for it.

    Get the number to a good restoration company while you still have internet in case you have water damage.

  13. Katie says:

    Good advice for all, either in the path or a hurricane, tornado or in an earthquake zone as I am out on the west coast (not that I’m that prepared…). Most important however, remember you are responsible for you. Not the government, not your neighbours. So should the worst happen, look after yourself and lend a hand in your area. I’m always amazed at what group of people can accomplish when they work together. Good luck!

  14. Head Ant says:

    If you plan to evacuate, fill up a container in your freezer with ice cubes. Put all the food in black trash bags. If you come back and the container is a solid block of ice, throw away the bags of food.

    Also, buy some baking soda and white vinegar. You can leave out bowls of it to alleviate the rotting food smell when you return.

  15. Bonnie B. says:

    This is the most entertaining yet helpful “be prepared” list I’ve ever read! Loved it!

  16. pharmtechgurl says:

    You can get the flat rubber discs to cover your bathtub drain, and the water won’t seep out.

  17. Janet Ward says:

    But it’s only 75 mph or so winds. In France, a couple of years ago, there was cyclone reaching 210 kmph, that’s 130 mph.

    Yes, locally power was out for 11 days, but the roads were cleared of the trees (this was in the largest industrial forest in Europe) by d

  18. Morgan says:

    Awesome post on preparedness. And here I thought you were mostly good for laughs.

  19. joe says:

    Wow, not only advise on tips but tips on living too. Thanks

  20. Nana says:

    A backpack for each member of the family (including the dog)…if you have to leave, each can carry his/her provisions.

  21. Britton says:

    Well…I must confess, now that this is all over, that I prepared only with liquor, Diet Coke, and candles. Oh, and cheese.

  22. Sussie Sutton says:

    An electric stove will not help you if the electricity is off. Use a propane stove. Those Catholic Saint candles work great; burn for hours on end and are the cheapest on the market. Your going to need ice and lots of it. So start making it and put in a cooler or just go buy a couple of bags.

    I have gone through MANY hurricanes…

  23. Nuala, London UK says:

    What is TP? Is it an American thing?

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