It was just another Wednesday evening here at the 6021, when the sky began to darken, trees tossed their leaves in a panic, and drivers of all ages forgot the rules of the road because it was raining. An “Extremely Severe Thunderstorm” rolled in, uprooting trees, flooding streets, and reducing our house electricity wattage to zero.
Good news: we survived.
Bad news: it was rough.
And so, as we enter into early summer and thunderstorm/tornado/tropical storm weather, I thought I’d share some tips with you so that you, too, can survive, hopefully with less agony than we experienced.
Most importantly, remember the crucial lesson from the Lion King: Be prepared.
Always have a variety of non-perishable snacks available. If the power goes out in your home, you may be forbidden to open the refrigerator in order to preserve the food inside. But this can lead to hunger pangs, especially if the outage is around mealtime and continues past mealtime. And we all know that unexpected hunger is the number one cause of fighting and name-calling among Americans between the ages of 3 and 84. (References available from the CDC upon request.) Make sure that these snacks aren’t all fruit; there are only so many bananas a human should eat in one sitting.
Be sure to have at least one headlamp or flashlight on hand per person, with fresh batteries. Most 21st century Americans have no real concept of how dark it actually gets here on earth. If you can’t see, you can’t play games. This is very dangerous. (See below.)
Next: Know your exit. Plan ahead of time how to leave and return to your home without passing through major intersections that utilize stoplights. Unpowered stoplights change a casual left turn into a harrowing and traumatic experience. Grown adults who previously understood the rules of the four-way stop are suddenly overcome by hysteria, swerving and signaling wildly, stopping and going at random. Avoid this potential 34-car, 8mph pileup by taking side streets. If you must go through a major intersection, remember the three basic rules: 1) drive on the correct side of the street, 2) obey road signs, and 3) don’t do anything you wouldn’t do when it was sunny.
Lastly: Avoid boredom. Boredom is the second most deadly disease in suburban America. Utilize a wide variety of games, books, and story-telling in order to maintain sanity and peace among those who dwell in your home. If you find yourself on your couch, looking out the window and speculating on what exactly your neighbor is going to do with the bucket he just borrowed, you are headed down a dangerous road. Idleness is not your friend. Keep yourself and your loved ones active and engaged for their own safety.
And now, I will leave you with an almost entirely unrelated conversation between two of my roommates and me:
Me: Do you want to play a game?
Me: Hide and seek?
Me: Blind Man’s Bluff?
L: Midwife what?
H: Ah, the classic childbirth game, Midwife Bluff.
H: “Surprise! You’re not pregnant!”
Me: Blind Man’s Bluff, guys. [Rolls eyes.] Never mind.