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!

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