1. Don't laugh at your friends who run to the grocery store in a panic, buying up every single supply on their hurricane preparedness checklist. Turns out, category 1 hurricanes aren't so high on the "not a big deal" list after all, and you might find yourself in need of some of the things on that list yourself.
2. Do not attempt to entertain a 4 year old with Play-Doh, puddle jumping, story reading, and fort building in an attempt to divert said child's attention from the fact that you have had no electricity for almost a whole day. (Gasp! A Saturday morning without Spongebob?!?) Your only response will be, "MOM...this is the most boring day EVER." As if all of those activities previously listed would somehow have been made all that much better with the addition of an electrical current running through your house.
3. Buy an outdoor grill with burners attached. They come in really handy when your 4 year old INSISTS on soup for lunch, but doesn't understand how exactly electricity plays into the preparation of said soup. Wish I could take credit for that one. But, I'll admit I had a real, "Well, DUH!" moment when my neighbor mentioned to me today, "Hey, don't you have a side burner on your grill? You could have cooked it on that." Well, DUH! Now, why didn't I think of that?
4. Don't leave your garbage can on the side of your house during a hurricane. Unless, of course, you want it to blow into the middle of the street, spill every where, and be pilfered through by the local strays and God only knows what other kinds of furry vermin.
5. Don't knock the vintage love. My love for all things vintage actually came in handy for something other than decorating our pad. That lovely baby-blue princess phone that the hubs so despises comes in pretty handy when all of the new-fangled cordless phones that MUST have electricity to work, well, don't work when the power is out. It's pretty nice when you're one of the only ones around with a phone that works (well, once the phone lines are fixed, that is). Ha ha...it isn't all about the looks after all!
6. Keep plenty of Nature's Miracle (or whatever you carpet cleaner brand of choice might be) on hand. As it turns out, dogs don't really like to pee outside when it is dumping sideways rain. Imagine that. My carpet doesn't really feel the love for hurricanes either.
7. Don't expect to get much sleep. If you're fortunate enough to be able to sleep through howling winds, pounding rain, thunder and lightning (truth be told, Bryan probably could)...you're sure to be awakened by a crying 4 year old asking, "Mommy...is the hurk-aim gonna' blow our roof off?" And, how does it happen that, once I let her in bed with me, she falls fast asleep almost instantly and I spend the rest of the night dodging right hooks, and knees to the stomach from the little octopus. That's what we've dubbed her. It's like sleeping with an 8-limbed beast thrashing about under the covers.
7. If anything bigger than a category 1 rolls into town...run. I know if Ike comes this way, I'm outta' here. I hope the relatives in Tennessee have an open room for me and my kids. Oh, and plenty of electricity. ;0)