We interrupt my already lacking blog posts of experiences to report live from Tampa Bay. Hurricane Irma passed six days ago and life has mostly returned to normal.
In fact, once more the Indian mound blessings have prevented Tampa Bay from natural disaster. Hurricane? We got this. Sewage problems or over-controlled Republican conferences? The Indian mounds can only do so much. Anyway…
I’m reporting from a mixture of Tampa coffee shops and libraries as my typical home base (aka my home) still does not have electricity. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees and lack of internet destroying all work-at-home opportunities, how does a millennial stay sane in a hurricane’s aftermath without the protective coo of Netflix in the background?
Preparation is key
Even if it doesn’t happen, you have to mentally prepare as if all your windows will be smashed by Thor’s hammer, a moat of lava will surround your place, and a haze of locusts will descend in the following days. In other words, lack of electricity is real! Prepare as if you were going camping (like, legit camping. Not glamping) for a week. NOW what would you do?
That means no AC (more on that later), no stove or microwave, no way to charge your electronics. Repeat the previous sentence until it sets in. NOW what would you do?
Food Controls the Mood
Every hurricane preparedness site tells you to buy non-perishable food. Lots of canned tuna, chips, cookies, and peanut butter. I don’t know about you, but if I was expected to eat that for days, I would lose my mind.
And that is probably why any restaurant that opened right after Hurricane Irma struck featured a line out the door. And naturally, my fellow millennials grumbled about surviving a hurricane only to face the disease of waiting in line for food.
Stock up on food you’ll actually want to eat, and eat the ones that will go bad first.
The morning of the hurricane, we oven-roasted a large pork seasoned with many herbs. Bonus: the pork had been in our freezer, and we anticipated the freezer losing power so we were trying to empty it as much as possible. Since our fridge kept cool for a couple days, any cooked meat and cheese inside was still edible. Stock up on herbs and little sauces for flavor. Eat those first then move on to yuckier canned items later. Don’t forget the wine and beer!
My little $11 Esbit portable stove was a lifesaver. It operated on tea light candles. We used it to give us hot coffee (French press style), ramen, reheat the meat, as well as reheat these awesome Indian food packets that didn’t require refrigeration.
No AC? Go outside!
Thankfully, many businesses began receiving power within a couple days. Rather than complain of heat in our power-less home, we decided to just get out of the house during the daytime (when it’s also the hottest) and returned only to clean up and sleep.
We rediscovered libraries with their free WiFi, AC, and no pressure to buy any coffee. Similarly, malls often provide the same service. We visited places around Tampa Bay that normally wouldn’t grab our attention but opened their doors welcoming us. For all of that we’re very grateful.
Of course, use common sense too
You should still follow all the hurricane preparedness protocols; board up your windows, stock up on candles, stock up on water, fill your car’s gas tank, etc. The ones I’ve listed are just a few additional tips I have discovered that helped keep me sane after the hurricane knocked all our power out.
Well, that’s it for now. I will hopefully return to my regular broadcasting in a few days. May the power be with you… and in my home when I get back.