1. Before the hurricane arrives, drive around town running last minute errands and enjoy being outside of your home while you can.
Our little town was prepared for Irene with taped up and boarded up windows and sandbags around doorframes. Most of the stores closed early on Saturday and remained closed Sunday. Since the NYC transit system shut down, my college closed and I got a three-day weekend.
2. Fill spare containers in your house with filtered tap water. Fill the bathtub with water as well; this way you can still flush the toilet in a water outage. Make sure batteries and flashlights, matches and candles are all out where you can find them.
3. Then, relax. Wait for the storm. Make hurricane cookies, and be sure to deliver some to your neighbors.
4. Make sure your wild animals have a proper watering hole.
5. Make sure your Lego town has an official Space Patrol Paddy Wagon.
6. With all this time on your hands, make a super-delicious homemade dinner. I made a big batch of pizza dough, some of which I froze for next week and some of which we rolled out topped with our favorite sauce and cheese.
7. Enjoy slice after slice of 9-grain bread homemade by your upstairs neighbor.
8. Knit. Finish up some mending and button-sewing. Prepare for new knitting projects.
9. Make sure your Brachiosaurus has plenty of eggs in her nest.
10. Stay up late watching movies and listening to the storm move in.
11. Wake up early and assess the damage. Try not to watch too much news. Once it's safe, take a walk around your town and feel lucky that you have no downed trees, no flooding, no exposed electrical wires.
We were very lucky. The only evidence Irene was here were the branches and leaves all over the roads, the waterline where the bay overflowed its banks and all the garbage that washed ashore. We were happy our resident geese weathered the storm just fine. Much of the surrounding areas had terrible flooding, including parts of downtown NYC, Hoboken and Jersey City. The Jersey Shore also got hit pretty hard, but thankfully Hurricane Irene was fairly gentle and didn't deliver the blow the media had us all prepared for.