A Florida girl, I know the drill: board the windows, stock up on supplies, gather important documents, stay off the beach and evacuate if necessary. The basic rules remain the same, but preparing for a hurricane up in New York, for me is a first. It’s a week of firsts I guess. Only days earlier, I sat at my desk as the ground under my feet and the lights hanging above me shook. An earthquake!
And now we’re bracing for Irene.
As of about 3pm yesterday you could feel a change in the air. It wasn’t so much a meteorological one, but a behavioral one. Officemates began to stray from their work in favor of storm-tracking websites and blogs describing worst case scenarios—like Manhattan disappearing under water. And on the street, there was almost a silent madness. Not just any old Friday night. Though no one spoke of it, everyone knew what everyone else was doing. Preparing somehow for Irene. Some sat at outdoor cafes to revel in the calm before the storm, for what looked like their last meal. Others flocked to Home Depot for flashlights and batteries and whatever else they might have found to protect them.
I joined all the others at my local Food Town, where by 9pm the bread shelf was cleared out. Kashi bars were gone, as were the whole grain chips and batteries and bottled water. And for reasons unknown—maybe out of panic or pity?—I found myself reaching for Cheeze-its and juice boxes and frozen cheese ravioli (that of course I would cook before a power outage). Luckily my brain came back to me. I never eat that stuff, so why would I now?
The rain has started. Still waiting for the wind. I baked pita chips and boiled some eggs. I have fruit and nuts and water and oh yes, wine. I’ve gathered my candles and flashlights, made ice for an army, brought the plants inside. Had a terrifying and hopefully irrational vision of my charming garden apartment—which after months of getting together finally feels like home—flooding. So I propped up the sofa, rolled up the carpet…
…and now we sit and wait.