I hate the phrase “batten down the hatches.” And I hate the talk of preparedness, the stockpiles of water in stores that were piled high and then quickly depleted and the sense of impending suckitude. But then again, if we were supposed to like all the stuff that comes before a mega storm like Hurricane Sandy, then it would be called something more alluring than a hurricane — or Frankenstorm, depending on whom you talk to.
Our house is stocked with water and food. We’ve charged the laptops, phones, iPads, cameras and Kindles. There are library books galore. And the dogs have enough food for almost two weeks. We’ve secured the outside of our home here in the country. The Cottage is secured too, though I had nothing to do with that this time.
All that’s left is to wait.
This morning, our power flicked off for less than a minute — then came right back. It was as if it was reminding us that it’s really not a question of if the power goes out but of when it will go out.
The heartening thing, if you can call it that, about this storm is that everyone from town and state officials to the power companies are taking it very seriously. Last year when Hurricane Irene arrived, we were ill-prepared for the devastating effects it caused. Just two months later when we had the freak October nor’easter, the state was unprepared again for the huge impact it had on our power grid, roads and towns. This time though? I’ve already seen the support crews from other states rolling through town. The water supply at our local grocery was plentiful. The bread shelves were stocked and ready, despite the many people buying. Highways in Connecticut will close at 1 pm today, in further efforts to keep people safe.
You can’t truly prepare for the aftermath of a storm like this because it’s impossible to know exactly what will happen. But you can prepare for the inevitables — the loss of power, the flooding, the challenge of eating. These are things you can control.
In the meantime, the wind is picking up. It’s grey outside, and there is a steady low drone (like highway noise) outside. There’s been some light rain — just a little — though it’s not constant or serious yet. Sandy is coming … now, we just have to wait and do as much as can before she arrives.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.