So it has begun. The mad dash to prepare for the impending wrath of Mother Nature in the form of Hurricane Irene. She is threatening to bash the heck out of us here along the northern part of the Eastern Seaboard. She has already caused damage and casualties in North Carolina and parts of Virginia. She threatens us now.

It’s Saturday late afternoon and, I think, the calm before the storm.

People have been glued to the TV and internet’s weather alerts waiting for a signal of what to do next. They’ve been to the stores. They’ve snatched up every last battery they could find. They’ve headed to the beaches to bag sand to help keep Irene’s storm surge waters at bay. They’ve bought the ply wood, boarded up their homes. The milk is gone. The bread is gone. The gallons of water are gone.

Now we all wait. We listen the reports. They say Irene is strong. Once a Category 3, she’s been downgraded to Category 1. But still a Hurricane. And Hurricanes are fierce.

For those on coastal areas of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, there have been some mandatory evacuations. Some people have left their homes behind in hopes that when they return, there will be something to return to. I shudder to think of New York City having the same fate as New Orleans. Katrina was unkind. I hope that Irene is nicer.

For us, even though we are about 20 miles inland from the coast — “as the crow flies” — we are still under a Tropical Storm watch tomorrow. Irene could still touch us here in some way, shape, or form.

So yeah. We have to be prepared. We currently have a back pack filled with flashlights, a radio and some lanterns, a few crank lights and candles. We cleaned the basement floor and my husband cleaned out the gutters. We broke out the Coleman stove and stocked up on propane tanks. We have charcoal for the grill and a little portable charger that can keep a light lit for a little over an hour. Water, peanut butter and jelly, lots of baked beans, canned goods, bread, some juice boxes, of course a few bottles of Chianti to keep us warm — and happy — if Irene knocks out power for more than a day.

Thankfully my husband grew up with well water and knows enough to fill our bathtubs prior to a big storm. We’ll do that tonight. Just in case. You don’t want to have to deal with that crap when you are dealing with all the other crap on top of it. We’ll probably take in water in our basement. We’ve had a few rainy days and the ground is still a bit sodden so perhaps that is inevitable. At least it’s not furnished.

We have ditched our TV Free August to watch for Irene. I love the exuberance of Jim Cantore and his gang from the Weather Channel during severe weather. They live for this kind of thing. They find standing on a beach, getting pelted with sand as 75 mph winds nearly knock them to the ground exhilarating. Now that is Reality TV. Maybe I am a closet meteorologist, but I love them there at TWC.

Yes, I realize that we have been conditioned. This may be hyped and overblown and maybe Irene will just fizzle out and dump rain on us up here in Connecticut. That would be great.

But maybe she wont.

I wouldn’t want to be the ones who didn’t have our ducks in a row, our shizz together, if Mother Nature decided this was the real deal.

I hope Irene spares us. But be safe and prepared just in case.


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