Frankenstorm is barreling our way, probably making landfall somewhere south of Long Island, sometime between Monday and Tuesday, as a hurricane or tropical storm, but any way you model it, sure to blow pretty hard, dump lots of rain, and cut the power to hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
If you want to track it, try the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center, for as long as you have a charged computer or smartphone. Or you can watch the more sensational, perhaps even lurid (look at the garish colors on their hurricane projections) Weather Channel obsessively and drive yourself nuts, while lusting after the reporters’ L.L.Bean and North Face gear.
As a veteran of numerous hurricanes in Puerto Rico (Georges, Hortense, among them), I can tell you that you definitely want:
a battery-powered radio,
enough medications for three days.
You want batteries for all your lighting and listening devices.
A gas grill is handy (my kingdom for a gas stove)
Start freezing water now — in plastic freezer bags — which will keep your freezer packed and cold, and provide you with fresh water should that become an issue.
And then, make sure you have some nice treats that don’t require cooking. I picked up a jar of rolled anchovies with capers, artichoke hearts, chorizo, and black olives to go with the hunks of parmigiano, and feta I will have to eat rather than lose. Along with a bottle of wine, it will make a lovely noshing table by candlelight. I may grill-roast some of the peppers from the farm as well.
In addition to wine to while away the hours, I want to assure my Puerto Rican readers that I do indeed have a full bottle of Don Q Cristal (my preferred white mixing rum) ready for the moment when nostalgia for those crazy Cuba Libre-driven hurricane parties in Ocean Park hits. I can’t do that sort of thing now, but a taste of it might be just the thing as we wait out the weather.
Other tips: hard-boiled eggs will keep longer than fresh, so if things look bad, put your eggs in a pot of water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove from heat and let rest for ten minutes. Finish by shocking them in cold water.
And one more tip, non-food-related, but important. Remember that if the electric goes, your automatic car garage opener will not function. Plan accordingly and park your car facing out, in case you need to make a quick getaway.
Good luck to all during this massive weather event. I hope that we all come out okay, and that if we must stay indoors for a long time, that we use the opportunity to enjoy simple togetherness time, playing board games, talking, and cuddling.