As a Floridian gearing up for Hurricane Irma , I find myself calming my anxiety over the pending storm by accepting invitations from satirical Facebook events.
Each is more ridiculous than the one before it: "Fidget Spin Clockwise to Cancel Out Irma." "Ignore the Hurricane Because Climate Change is a Hoax." "Throw every Jose you know at Hurricane Irma." "Why don't we just PUSH Florida somewhere else!!" (You have to picture the last one with a problem-solving mode Patrick.)
Still, it makes me optimistic about the state of our, well, state that we can react to the threat of impending doom with memes and humor.
Now as for actually surviving the hurricane, here's what I suggest:
1. Hurricane-proof your apartment.
To protect your home, you must have hurricane shutters in hand. For those unfamiliar with the concept of buying these devices, Sun Sentinel has a comprehensive shutter shopping guide. But if the pricier hurricane shutters are outside your budget, CNN suggests using 5/8-inch plywood instead to board up windows and doors.
Live in a dorm or apartment complex that doesn't allow shutters? Find a safe place to stay at — a friend's house, a hotel (book in advance to avoid jacked-up prices and/or a full house), or even a community center. If your pet can't come with you, make sure he or she is also taken care of by locating pet-friendly shelters nearby.
2. Stock up on supplies.
Here's what you'll need:
- Water bottles (if sold out, fill up old juice gallons with water, and don't forget that your bathtub can store plenty of water, too!)
- Non-perishable canned goods (plus a manual can opener if not pop top cans).
- A first-aid kit.
- A waterproof container (use this to store important documents like your social security card and passport).
- A battery-operated flashlight and radio.
Be sure to add and/or check off items for your own emergency kit as you see fit!
3. Let family and friends know you're OK.
When you're away at college, it's hard for family members and close friends to keep a close eye on you.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, however, the distance between you and your loved ones during times of crisis can feel a little less scary. Use features like the Facebook Safety Check to account for your personal safety this hurricane season!
4. Throw a party.
If all else fails, celebrate your total lack of preparation by calling it a day and hosting a disaster-themed hurricane party.
Just kidding! (Well, sort of.)
Hurricane parties are a real thing, but they only work if the hosts of said parties are mentally and physically prepared for the coming storm. So, plan it out, make sure that you've prepared A-Z for the hurricane, and THEN throw that crazy party.
Just remember to invite me, too.
How are you preparing for Hurricane Irma? Are you in a hurricane danger zone or is your college situated out of these natural disasters? Comment below and let us know you're OK!