Most of you know by now that DC got off fairly light from Hurricane Sandy. New York and New Jersey weren't so lucky, and I'm still praying for recovery efforts there.
Hurricane Sandy was the first time I had the potential to be in a real natural disaster. Out in Montana we don't have much beyond forest fires or the occasional flood, and my home there is on high ground so floods wouldn't affect us anyway. Michigan occasionally gets tornadoes, but nothing serious ever happened while I was there.
As such, I had absolutely no experience upon which to draw for preparations for Hurricane Sandy. I should have read useful sites like this one, but alas. I did not.
Instead I went to the grocery store with a friend. We wandered vaguely around, picking up items and then putting them down again -- you need a stove to heat up canned soup, you need milk in order to eat cereal, you need a fridge to store pudding. None of those things work without power. I finally settled on some tins of canned fruit, along with some other odds n ends. For some reason I thought it'd be great to buy mango Jello. Post-hurricane treat?
Despite people tripping over themselves for it, I simply couldn't bring myself to buy water. For one thing, the price had been jacked up. For another, water seems like such a ridiculous thing to spend money on when you can get it, for free, right out of the tap.
A few girls in my college dorms bought bottled water because they said the tap water "tasted funny"...
Some families in developing countries walk for hours to get potable water; I wasn't gonna waste my limited college funds on bottled water because the tap water, while perfectly drinkable, "tasted funny."
Since my roomie was of the same opinion, we got creative.
We emptied out old cider jugs and filled those with tap water. Same with old honey jars. I happen to save the *cough cough* occasional wine bottle, so we filled a couple of those up to the brim. In all, we probably had at least 5 gallons of water. Ahem hem, WATER, not wine. And definitely not whiskey. Or bourbon. No beer either. In fact, there was no consumption of alcohol at all during the storm. None whatsoever.
I felt pretty proud of myself.
In the end, all the water wasn't necessary. Very few areas in the District lost power -- although we did have some pretty intense rain and wind (I was sure to park my car on a street with no huge trees; dealing with an insurance claim for weather damage would be just about the last straw with my car).
I hope any of you reading this, if you were affected by the storm, are safe and sound.