Growing up in the DC area, we didn’t have a lot of hurricanes coming through. Sure, we had some – but nothing compared to my BIL (a native of Louisiana). Still, I know enough that there’s wind, there’s rain, and the biggest trouble can come from being caught out in the mess unnecessarily. So, I was neither surprised nor upset when I heard that school was canceled in our town. According to the automated call we got last night, the school system was closing because the Governor had declared a state of emergency and asked ALL state schools to close for the day.
This wasn’t a huge problem for me; I had only one meeting that I didn’t control, so I had to check on its status this morning (it was canceled shortly before it was due to begin). Other meetings were pushed to next week. DH was planning to go to work for one immovable meeting scheduled for 2pm, but after some convincing (and several messages from the MBTA encouraging people NOT to take the T unless absolutely unavoidable) even he canceled and decided to stay home with the kidlets.
It’s a good thing I didn’t have to drive to work today. Aside from the fact that the wind has been howling since last night, the mall where I park closed for the day and it’s entirely unclear that I’d have anywhere to PUT my car whilst at work. My office also decided to close early, since RIPTA was suspending all service effective noon. The MBTA announced they were suspending all service effective 2pm. Truly, I don’t recall this type of thing happening much, so it’s unfamiliar territory.
Being at the mercy of the school system is a whole other animal, too. We’ve been spoiled by a daycare center that’s open nearly every day of the workweek, minus a handful of federal holidays. Having the school system suddenly dictate our calendar – that’s a whole new thing.
So, we prepared as best as we could. First up: we didn’t put a lot of food in the house. This may sound really nuts, but I keep tons of food in the house anyway. There’s typically at least a week’s worth of food (or supplies to make things) without having to reach for many, if any, fresh ingredients. I have no idea how that happened, but somehow I have a pantry that looks like it could belong in a fallout shelter. Only the barest requirement for milk was picked up at the dairy yesterday; we didn’t want milk taking up all the space in a cooler, should we lose power, so I got just enough to get us through a few days. To supplement that, I bought juice box-sized packages of shelf-stable lowfat milk. If we need milk, we have enough for several days.
Second, I baked. Not knowing whether we’d have the ability to use the oven (since power outages knock out the thermostat in the oven), I made both congo squares and gingerbread scones. Since things were still in okay enough shape this morning – but we went through the last of the pre-packaged chocolate chip mini-muffins, I took a few minutes aside to modify my chocolate chip muffin recipe for mini-muffinization. YUM.
Third, we charged things as much as we could. The Mophie I’d gotten for BlogHer’12 got fully charged up, in case I drain my iPhone battery while trying to keep up with news, family and friends. DH loaded his iPad with episodes of the kids’ favorite TV shows before putting it back on the charger. We weren’t able to get more lanterns yesterday, ‘CUZ EVERYWHERE’S OUTTA LANTERNS (or so we learned as we went from store to store). So, enh. We will deal with the lantern, flashlights, and flameless candles. It will just have to be enough if we lose power.
It would be less concerning if A) we lived in an area where the power cables ran underground, B) we lived in a house NOT surrounded by 50′ tall trees, and/or C) we had no kids to be concerned about amusing and keeping safe. But, as all of those things are actually NOT the case for us, we will soldier on – as so many others will, too.
Here’s hoping we all get through this okay.