1. Hear about the approaching storm two days in advance on the six ‘o’ clock network news.
2. Board up the house, put up the metal accordion shutters, tape all the windows, toss the patio furniture in the pool, bring all the yard art inside – this includes plastic geese, seahorse birdbaths, and metallic pink gazing balls.
3. Fill up several pitchers and bottles with tap water. Fill the bathtub too.
4. Get some groceries: Wonder Bread, peanut butter, Starkist, canned pears, Vienna sausages, potted meat, Saltines.
5. Pick up a few bags of ice at the corner store and fill the red and white Igloo cooler. Add a gallon of whole milk and a Styrofoam carton of eggs.
6. Hunker down with your family while following the storm’s progress on the radio. Wait for the hurricane to pass.
7. Listen for the eye of the storm, but have enough sense not to go outside. You can’t go outside anyway because you’ve nailed plywood over all the doors.
8. Use hurricane lamps for their intended purpose once the power goes out.
9. Once the storm has ended, take down the plywood, go out and survey the damage. Clean up your yard, help your neighbors clean up their yards, put a tarp on the roof until the hardware store reopens and you can nail up some new shingles. Read about the storm the next day in the local newspaper.
10. Make coffee, heat beans and Dinty Moore beef stew on the Weber and the Coleman on the back patio until the electric comes back on.
11. Be glad it wasn’t worse.
1. Invest 3498-RLS has formed off the coast of Africa. It has a 785% chance of development over the next two weeks. PANIC.
2. Invest 3498-RLS is now somehow Tropical Depression 87 and is located somewhere off the coast of the Leeward Islands. Or something. Closely monitor the situation via Twitter, the Weather Channel App, the NOA website and ALL 24 hour news channels, even FOX, which insists that hurricanes are a hoax perpetrated by the liberal media. There was probably even a John Stossel documentary about it.
3. One week later. TD 87 has now become an ohmygod Tropical Storm named Madissynne. Shizz just got real. The Hurricane Hunters are already flying into the center of this thing. There is eyewall development and something about millibars and it’s not cool at all.
4. There is a cone. It is 1,500 miles wide, but where you live is in it. Maddeningly they call this the “Cone of Uncertainty.” Don’t they know you can’t deal with uncertainty?? Xanax is needed STAT. Your anxiety is through the freaking roof.
5. Obsess over THE CONE OF DEATH. Follow it hourly. Great, now it’s an effing Hurricane. Fabulous. Thank God there is round the clock coverage. Go shopping. Find adorable retro hurricane lamps at Z Gallerie. What are these things for anyway? But wow, are they so cute!
6. Watch as the TV meteorologists compare this to every hurricane in recorded history, especially all the ones with high body counts. They tell you to take this seriously, as if there is any other option because obviously WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. The pressure is dropping. At this rate, this thing is going to be a Category 11.
7. Wait 3 hours at the gas station to top off your car. You’re not sure why you need to get gas exactly, but it is apparently what to do, so you are definitely doing it. Take a picture of the gas lines and post to Facebook.
8. Rush to Home Depot and Costco so that you can buy plywood (for something? not sure) and pretty much a palate of batteries.
9. #HurricaneMadissynne is now a thing. Your friends are texting you funny hurricane memes, but one of them shows a satellite image of the storm and it looks like a skull and the world is definitely ending and this is a sign.
10. Remain glued to your social and your TV as Hurricane Madissynne barrels and lashes its way through the Caribbean and causes all kinds of devastating damage and horrific loss of life, but no one really cares about those people on those random islands because they are not here, are not our friends on Facebook, and therefore don’t really exist. Crack up over that PM your bestie sent you with the cats blowing in the wind.
11. Resume panic. Go to the grocery store and BUY ALL THE THINGS. All the things includes two cases of wine. Be very upset that the Simply White Cheddar Cheet-o Puffs are sold out. How can something like that even happen? Buy beet chips, hummus, almond milk, chia seed kombucha, spirulina, 70% cacao dark chocolate, organic sheep’s milk Spanish Manchego, and gluten-free flax seed crackers.
12. Plan hurricane party. Look on Pinterest for ideas. Make a bunting. Remember to panic when you hear the Hurricane Madissynne has the lowest recorded pressure of any hurricane in the Atlantic basin since the last hurricane a few weeks ago that also had the lowest recorded pressure in the Atlantic basin. Try to make sense of all the vastly conflicting forecast tracks. It basically looks like a toddler scribbled on a map. Give up.
13. Jim Cantore has arrived in your town and he is wearing his tight black tee shirt. If Anderson Cooper shows up in his tight black tee shirt all hope is lost. (Jim and Anderson in tight black tee shirts are the first two horsemen of the Apocalypse FYI.) Post something inspiring on Facebook so that if you die people will remember you as being really compassionate and yoga-like.
14. Fuuu — yoga is canceled. Are you kidding me??
15. Fill your $250.00 YETI cooler with as much Vitamin Water, Smart Water, Fiji Water and locally brewed, artisan craft beer made from pomegranates as humanly possible.
16. Lock your impact glass windows and breathe a sigh of relief that you are so well prepared for your impending death.
17. Conditions are totally deteriorating.
18. Go outside and go Live on Facebook to discuss “the calm before the storm.” Post status: “And so it begins” with a selfie of you outside.
19. The news is saying something about being on “the dirty side” of the storm and whatever that means is disturbing. There is a press conference with the governor and he has a Spanish translator and the person next to him doing sign language, which means that this is a really, really, really grave situation. Wait with baited breath for the 8pm advisory to tell you that yup, this is really happening.
20. Watch as local news reporters stand on the beach and act like they are blowing away while tourists frolic freely behind them in Speedos. Realize you have already eaten all the beet chips. It hasn’t even started raining.
21. Tell yourself that you are only allowed to eat raw fruits, veggies, almonds and green tea during this crisis. But then add: coffee, tortilla chips, one cookie, okay two, a Reese's cup, and just screw it. Eat everything in the house. All of it. The snacks are pretty much gone now and it's barely windy.
22. Where is this storm that was supposed to kill us? Time to go to the beach and take selfies. Lots of them. There are literally hundreds of other people taking selfies on the beach along with you. Literally. Your Instagram is LIT.
23. Go back home and wait for conditions to deteriorate some more. Plow through all of your snacks and drink more wine. Apparently sudden drops in barometric pressure can cause insatiable hunger. It’s scientifically proven.
24. The News: THE SITUATION IS DIRE. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. URGENT. THIS HURRICANE IS LIKE NOTHING WE’VE EVER SEEN. HURRICANE MADISSYNNE IS A DANGEROUS STORM. DEVASTATION IS — Oops, sorry, our bad. Never mind. These things are unpredictable. Obviously, better safe than sorry.
25. Several angry tweets later…#hurricanemadissyn #dodgedabullet
26. Invest 3499 – SQH has now formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We are monitoring the situation closely…
***Note to Readers: I am not attempting to make light of a situation that can truly be horrifically devastating. Hurricanes and all weather warnings should always be taken very seriously. That means that beach selfies mid-storm are not a good idea, okay? Stay inside and make good choices. Sometimes the news has to scare us to death because it really is better safe than sorry. Prayers for everyone affected by this hurricane and all others. These things aren't a joke, but there's always a silly bright side to everything, and I wanted to add a little levity to a pretty dark situation. I am literally writing this using my cell phone as a wifi hotspot and praying the power stays on.***
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