Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stormy Weather Ahead...

Native Floridians are not gifted many things. We get palm trees, sun burns, rampaging brush fires on the dry years, a fun chance to get in touch with the land and sea on a regular basis (see Games with the God of the Sea), and intense tropical weather. In light of Lady Sandreline’s (this big ball of air, Sandy) impending visit, I thought I could share one of my few Floridian-gifted skills and insights with my apparently ill equipped New York friends. So for as long as we still have some power left, here are some of Brogie McDoogerson’s hurricane how-tos.

1. Power Outages

One of the largest concerns regarding hurricanes, regardless of geographical location, is a large scale power outage. And in a city like New York, I can understand the concern. It’s so large in fact that I will break this one down into sub-categories. First time I get to try the two-tier break down, people…be excited!

a. Transportation: On again, off again

The subway system, pretty much 90% of everyone’s ability to get around, would be out of commission for a bit. That being said, my experience thus far in NYC is that when things are broken on a large scale, they fix the shit nice and quick. It is a city of efficiency, and I don’t imagine it will allow itself to remain powerless for long. My suggestion to all my friends here, should the power be out for more than a day, is to take this as an opportunity to grow as a person. Build a relationship with yourself and your roommates. Spend some quality group/alone time and learn to just be still for a while.

b. Food Storage: Is your refrigerator running?

I noticed today while picking up my water, wine and canned goods that all of my New Yorker neighbors seemed to have panicked food selections that are entirely inappropriate for a storm induced power outage. Frozen waffles, cold cuts and orange juice (while providing a fully balanced and exciting dietary adventure) do not a good hurricane supply make. Dodging in and out of frantic shoppers deciding which ice cream they would need, I quickly made my way to the canned soups and vegetables. The shelves were fully stocked! Bottled water was about the same.

I hope that some of you at least picked up the fully prepared canned foods and a decent supply of water. Soda and sugar juice is nice, but water is how we survive. And any frozen or perishable meals may very well turn into stink bombs should the power gods decide.

c. Air Conditioning: Stank air

Coming from Florida, I feel I am qualified to say that the worst part of any power outage is a loss of air conditioning. Seeing as the majority of New York City lives without centralized air, there is no reason to complain. If you want to move around the stagnant air, open the windows and let in the breeze. There’s nothing like instant AC and quite likely a chance to clean your floors with natural hurricane water.

2. Violence in the Grocery Lines

I understand that all of you want nothing more than to make your misguided perishable food purchases as quickly as possible, but there is no reason to start a fist fight in the middle of Whole Foods. It’s not that serious. Everyone is looking for food stuffs at the moment, so don’t feel like you are the only person who didn’t get exactly the brand you wanted. It is okay to try a new kind of bread during an extreme weather situation. You’ll survive. Calm your shit, stop throwing punches over mac n’ cheese, and move up. You’re holding up the line.

3. Real Dangers

While it is important to understand that a hurricane is not the end of the world, it is equally important to acknowledge a few real dangers. Always important to be prepared, right?
a. Heavy Rain: Floods and such

In Florida, we don’t deal with the downsides of basement level living because…we don’t have basements. It is my assumption that basements here are vulnerable places and should be avoided if possible during the oncoming super heavy downpour. At the very least, precautions should be taken to stop up anything that might allow water in.

b. Strong Winds: Garbage is not your friend.

The majority of the buildings in this city are sturdy enough that I see no reason to concern ourselves with them falling to pieces with a little windy times. The actual danger here lies in all of the loose garbage and bags on the side of the road. 50+ mph winds will be more than enough to lift up some of the sharper, harder, and nastier items that fester on the curbs. If for whatever reason you find yourself needing to take a walk, just keep your eyes open for flying debris. One cut from some of the things flying around here could spell disaster in the form of incurable diseases.

At the end of the day, Lady Sandreline will come and go as she damn well pleases, and we shall have to clean up the mess she makes. But that doesn’t mean we have to go crazy. So don’t. Now make your final preparations, crack open your beer/bottle of wine, and prepare for a hurricane party. From what I understand, this should be a storm to remember.


  1. And don't forget your hand-held can opener for all those canned goods - you're not gonna have much luck eating if you're depending on your electric can opener to open you food during the power outage.

    A very well thought-out and clearly itemized list for hurricane prep, McDoogerson! Well done, sir! :o)

    1. Some tools were assumed for the New York lifestyle. Electric openers take up too much space...hand held is where it's at!

  2. Both Mamma and Papa Sparkles are big fans of this particular post. Well done sir. And I love the not to Lady Sandriline.

    1. I'm very happy that I got the approving nod of both Mama and Papa. My day has been made.