Coincidentally prepared


As a lifelong resident of South Florida, I’ve seen and (thankfully) survived many hurricanes. Gratefully, only a few “hits” and nothing in the lines of Andrew’s direct hit.

Preparations for a hurricane are redundant and tiresome, but they are critically necessary for you to protect yourself and your neighbors from irresponsible damage or demands, which is much akin to “piling on” after the storm has done its business.

Human nature plays a large role in people’s ability to cope pre- and post hurricanes. I’ve written before about the building hysteria that staring at a tracking map hour after hour can do to the most even-keeled mind. Most of us are far from even-keeled.

Fortunately, that’s where my own human nature, those traits that would normally be considered obsessive, become great aids to my minimizing the fright fest that is an oncoming hurricane.

Two specific characteristics play the most significant roles: my obsessive over-preparedness and my love of Halloween. Those these may, at first, seem entirely unrelated, let me show you the link.

Obviously, if you’ve spent any time on my blog (or Facebook) at all, you know I’m crazy about Halloween (with the accent on crazy). As such, I love to show off my creative genius to everyone I know.

That’s why I throw a big Halloween BBQ each year, on the weekend closest to Halloween. It’s similar and not so to my birthday BBQ in May, but features more cooked food and less BBQ (except burgers and dogs, of course).

Since I’m stressed enough with last-minute work around getting the house set up (and clean) and food shopping, I do my supply work for my BBQ’s in bulk.

I constantly get asked about whether I shop at Costco. The answer is no. (1) I don’t like the idea of paying someone to “let” me shop there. (2) It’s just me, I just can’t use those ridiculously large quantities.

Except for BBQ’s. Fortunately, Wal-Mart does a fine job with general bulk stuff, especially in the summer. So I have a box of 500 plastic forks and 500 plastic knives (for some reason, they don’t sell 500 plastic spoons…go figure). I also have tons of plastic cups and paper plates and nappies and…I think you can see where this is going, right?

Additionally, I love to BBQ. You know that also if you’ve been reading along these many years. And I hate running out of stuff in the middle of anything. It’s why I always have two of tin foil and saran wrap and ziploc bags (two sizes, too) and….I think you can see where this is going, right?

The only thing I don’t have two of is propane. And that’s because I have three. Take that!

Plus, when Halloween rolls around, I always pull in all my stuff from the storage closet. The outdoor storage closet, where almost everything but the buffalo roam. So I lay down plastic sheeting (found in the Wal-Mart paint aisle – Buy Smart, Buy S-Mart…oops, wrong movie) and spray it with bug spray and then bring in my stuff.

Of course, I buy the big rolls of plastic sheeting, so I’m all set for laying down many square feet of cover for my carpets when I have to pull all that stuff off the patio (so they don’t become weaponized against me or my neighbors).

Sure, I still have to get the bottled water and can goods. I did that way back in May (occasionally restocking the can goods because, well, May was four months ago).

But, thanks to some compulsive tendencies and a love for Halloween, I often find myself coincidentally prepared for a hurricane.

But I would prefer to remain simply overprepared.

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