Hello, Irene! Hurricane Survival Tips

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in NY Press Exclusive.


Between the earthquake and , we’ve had it with people obsessively discussing the weather. Guess what? Hurricanes hardly happen up here, and for those of us who grew up in hurricane country, the ones we do get seem like really bad thunderstorms. For those of you who are insistently mangling the lyrics to “Come on Eileen,” well, first of all, learn the fucking lyrics. It’s not in the verse; it’s the goddamn name of the song! Second of all, you’d probably die in an actual catastrophe, so you shouldn’t bother reading on.

For those who are curious as to how we Gulf Coasters survive run-of-the-mill hurricanes, the answer is booze. Seriously, drink up. You’re not going anywhere, so you might as well pour yourself a stiff one after you’ve tossed your patio furniture into the swimming pool. Now, some people like to take the time to obsessively catalog their Precious Moments collection for insurance purposes, but that’s just stuff. This is the time to really reconnect with your friends and loved ones, or whoever happens to be trapped in your apartment with you. Go light on the mixers in case the water mains are damaged; you’ll need all the tonic and seltzer you have on hand in that case. You may also want to hash some things out that have been bothering you, while everyone is trapped and defenseless. This is optional, but if we’ve learned anything from Special Episodes of TV shows that involve disasters, it’s that any interpersonal problem will be solved by the time the storm ends.

In addition to drinking, you should also keep your windows closed but your blinds open. Some people may claim that this increases your risk of being injured by flying glass, but isn’t that a small price to pay for the chance to witness the fury of Mother Nature without the earnest voiceover of a television meteorologist? Watch the wind lash the rain! Watch the idiots trying to stay dry while struggling to cross the street! And maybe even watch a cow fly past, à la Twister! Who can say! Hurricanes are exciting.

Don’t light candles! They may look romantic and/or add a spooky flavor to the proceedings, but with your windows closed and the amount of booze you’ve probably had, you’re gonna get insanely overheated. Plus, that will stink when you finally blow them out. Either sit in the dark (which adds an additional level of fun should you use the chance to work out your differences with friends or loved ones) or use a flashlight. Or, you know, turn your damn lights on, since we hardly ever lose power because of storms in NYC.

In fact, nevermind. Just drink until the rain stops. And for Chrissakes, shut up about “Eileen.” You’re just adding fuel to the panting hordes of newscasters desperate for some severe weather to add some fun back into the dreary national news.

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