24 things I learned from Hurricane Sandy

1. Panicking is never the right thing to do in crisis (why it took me a category 1 hurricane to figure this out, I’ll never know).
2. Your hurricane friends may not want to be your friends after the storm passes and everything gets back to normal.
3. If you’re going to evacuate, you better do so before the hurricane hits.
4. Never act upon your fight or flight instincts. In my case, that means don’t think it’s possible or safe to run 30 blocks to shelter in the eye of the storm. Stay where you are.
5. Buy lighter fluid beforehand.
6. And multiple lighters.
7. Purchase crackers, cans of beans, and other things you don’t need a microwave to cook.
8. If you lose power and still have to work, get to Starbucks as early as possible to lock down a table near an electrical outlet.
9. Drinking socially is the best coping mechanism and way to relax.
10. You may think hurricanes are perfect for hooking up with someone, but in reality, you’re not going to look or feel your best when your shower doesn’t work, the power is out, and you’re forced to get dressed in the dark.
11. Also: when you lose everything (and by everything, I mean first world luxuries), your love life is not a priority.
12. Receiving texts or calls is infuriating because you have no idea when you’ll find a power source again.
13. No matter how screwed you may think you are, lots of people have it much worse.
14. Being a lifelong blanket hoarder can serve you well when you don’t have heat for a week.
15. Everyone is tired and frustrated in the hurricane aftermath, but fighting and turning on each other is never the answer.
16. Overeating becomes natural, as you’re in survival mode.
17. You need to eat the right kinds of food, though. I scarfed down a lot of things that I knew would keep me full but forgot to include fruits and vegetables in the mix. Hence, I got sick.
18. You’re probably going to get sick at some point. Indoor inactivity, poor dietary habits, inefficient heat, and stress combined will do that to you.
19. You think you can get away with murder in the hurricane aftermath. And by murder, I mean not recycling. No one is going to bother fining you for failing to care for the planet when trashbags are piling on sidewalks and garbage men are off duty.
20. You’ll see the best in people during a time like this.
21. You’ll also see the worst, and your own flaws will come through, perhaps in front of people you’d rather hide your imperfections from.
22. Once everything is back to normal again, you have a new appreciation for luxuries you previously overlooked.
23. Arrogance will hurt you in the long run. Don’t underestimate storms.
24. You never thought you’d miss being squashed in the subway or your hellish commute, but you will.

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