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When I lived in Kansas hurricanes were just something that we saw on the news and didn’t think to much about. Now that my toes are firmly buried in the sand of southwest Florida they’re a very real concern and something to prepare for.

How does a Castaway prepare for a pending hurricane? A little differently than the common soul.

I’ve experience a few storms since my move in 2001. Of course 2004 was a tough season. That was the year that us here in south Florida felt the wrath of Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. Then the very next year we took a shot from Wilma. Good times.

A lot of people have these things called “Hurricane Parties.” You get together with friends and help them board up, have some rum and watch the weather channel. Cities shut down, people are off of work and there’s a monster that looms just over the horizon, what else are you suppose to do but have a little fun!

NOTE: I would only recommend this for tropical storms and hurricanes up to a Category 2. Wilma was a Cat 2 coming in but turned into a 3 at landfall and let me tell you, it got a little scary. I would evacuate if a Cat 3 or higher came this way again.

Hurricane Preparations

So you’re staying in town and are going to ride out the storm. There are a few things you need.

1. WATER – This should be obvious, but you never know with some people. When a storm come through local drinking water can become contaminated and undrinkable. And without electricity to boil water you’re going to need a supply of your own.

2. RUM & BEER (CASTAWAY) – These are essentials for hurricane parties, but you have to be smart. Drink the beer first while it’s cold. After the storm blows through like a pissed off 6 year old with ADD, and you won’t have a cold fridge to keep the beer cold. Rum you sip at room temperature, plus you might need something a little stronger depending on the damage the storm caused.

3. MIXERS (CASTAWAY) – If you like to mix your rum with something then you need to think about a mixer that can be kept at room temperature. Things like fruit juices that have to be kept cold are going to spoil like my shorts after eating Mexican. Things like coke, bloody mary mix, sweet and sour will work nicely. Hopefully you have some ice in a cooler.

4. ICE – Once power goes out your going to be up the proverbial river and realize just hope important electricity is. Before the storm hits, fill all your coolers with ice. You’ll need this to keep some food cold that you don’t want to spoil. Plus you’ll need a couple cubes for that Rum and Coke right?

5. GASOLINE – Who knows when gas stations are going to open up again after a storm. Make sure your car is gassed up. Of course if the storm tosses it into a tree, then you’re not really going anywhere anyways. If you have a generator, which many people in hurricane prone areas do, then you’ll need gas for that as well.

6. BATTERIES – No brainer….flashlights, radios, Tickle-me-Elmo. You know, important stuff.

7. GAMES – Without power you’re going to get bored. Instead of looting the local Wal-Mart, why not play some Taboo or Apples to Apples. Get the gang together and play some poker and make the hurricane a money making experience. I don’t think your buddy with the car in a tree is going to make it though.

8. CANNED FOOD – I went to the store earlier this week to grab some non-perishable food. I was a little lost since Erin does most of the shopping, so the only thing I got were cans of Chef Boyardee Overstuffed Ravioli, Nutter Butter cookies and a six-pack of Carib beer. I really should be supervised when shopping.

That is my list of hurricane preparations. What items would you add to the list?


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