There is currently a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast, and today’s top climatologists and government officials all agree there is only one thing left for able-bodied humans to do: panic.
I know I am panicking. Hurricane Joaquin – named for the famous Saint Joaquin, the patron saint of umbrellas – is currently coming towards us at the pace of an electric golf cart. Right now, it’s merely starting its tenure as a hurricane, but scientists say it could become a major storm by the time it hits the United States. Admittedly, scientists say it could also easily become “one of those annoying smaller storms where you have to constantly keep alternating your windshield wipers between ‘intermittent’ and ‘on.’”
Fortunately I have been reading about hurricane preparedness all week, and I have learned several helpful Significant Weather Event Preparedness Tips for those of you who, like me, plan to ride out this storm, even if it means walking out to your porch this weekend and battling a giant catfish for your newspaper.
But before I share these tips, I want to address the feelings of West Coast people (defined as “anyone who lives west of Pittsburgh”). You West Coast people probably think you’re soooo lucky that you don’t live on the East Coast, in the sense that you don’t have to deal with a) hurricanes, or b) people from the East Coast. But remember: no matter where you live, you are probably subject to some type of natural disaster where my Significant Weather Event Preparedness Tips might come in handy. For instance: in California, you have earthquakes. In the Midwest, you have tornadoes. In Chicago, you have blizzards. And in North Dakota, you have daily life.
So I will start with the primary tip I have discovered, which is that in order to ride out this storm properly, you need a Humvee.
I say this because whenever there is a significant weather event, or a major security event, or a movie alien invasion, the military routinely handles the situation by showing up in Humvees. This has always surprised me, because there is usually a gasoline shortage during disasters, and Humvees are known to offer approximately the same fuel economy you’d get if you simply emptied gasoline cans down a gradual incline. But I do not generally question the military, because they have tanks.
As many of you know, I personally own a Hummer, which is like a military Humvee except it is painted the color of Big Bird. Of course, I plan to bring my Hummer out during the worst of the storm, when trees are being torn from limb to limb, and water levels are rising to the height of human cheekbones, and Netflix subscriptions are temporarily interrupted. I do not plan to stock up my Hummer with supplies, but rather merely patrol the streets, looking prepared. If someone approaches me and says they are thirsty, I will tell them to get under the vehicle and open their mouth, because the thing leaks like a colander.
Of course, “get a Humvee” is not my only Significant Weather Event Preparedness Tip. I also have several others that I will share with you now, free of charge. They are:
1. Stay inside. If you stay inside, you decrease your chance of getting wet. Getting wet is a leading cause of being cold.
2. Stock up on food. I personally purchased nine Mr. Goodbars yesterday from the grocery store. This will last me at least until the hurricane reaches land, at which point I will panic.
3. Stock up on supplies. By this, I mean laundry detergent, because hurricanes can be a great time to do laundry. The exception to this is if you do not have a clothes dryer, because hurricanes are not a great time to dry your clothes. This is because hurricanes are wet, and windy, and generally intolerant of unworn fabrics.
4. Nail things to other things. Whenever a hurricane is headed for a place like South Carolina, those people do an amazing job of nailing plywood to their houses, nailing shutters to their windows, nailing their cousins, etc. I suggest we in the Northeast should follow their lead, although I must admit that we are not as handy as people in the Southeast, so I also suggest that we in the Northeast should watch our fingers.
5. Bring your pets inside. If your pets are outside during a hurricane, they may blow away. If your pets are inside, they can help you lap up the blood that forms when you accidentally drive a nail into your index finger. NOTE: Do not bring raccoons inside. Raccoons deserve to blow away.
And so, ladies and gentlemen, with these helpful tips, I believe you can survive this hurricane, or the next hurricane, or an earthquake, or a blizzard. I know I will be just fine, because I’ll be riding around in my Hummer, eating Mr. Goodbars. At least, until I run out of gas. Then I will panic.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He divides his time between writing about cars and sitting around his house watching Gilmore Girls without any pants on. Also, he wrote this bio himself in the third person.