As the Southeast braces itself for Hurricane Matthew, I know many of us in Mississippi are having flashbacks to Katrina. Fortunately, I was nowhere near the coast when Katrina struck. (Nor was I, contrary to popular belief, in some otherworldly country where disaster is always imminent.) No – when Katrina struck, I was stuck in central Tennessee, in the Podunk and aggressively uneventful town McMinnville. As a masochistic writer, who lives for muse-inspiring adventure, I’m always a little bitter when my Mississippian classmates tell their exciting hurricane survival stories.
What makes me most bitter, however, is that I was unable to share my expertise 11 years ago. Whether you’re evacuating or riding it out or fighting Poseidon for his domain, here’s my comprehensive list of essential items every hurricane- effected person should have:
BABY NAMING BOOK
Rename that storm and conquer it. Have you watched a McConaughey or Damon film lately? Anyone who names a hurricane Matthew is asking for a bad (but admittedly memorable) time, and Katrina sounds like someone you’d want to immediately befriend in the Hunger Games.
I don’t have an actual scientific figure but I’m pretty sure you’re 98 percent more likely to combat something with an unthreatening name. You’ll be alright, alright, alright with this tip (I am so sorry).
Speaking of the Hunger Games, you should see me in my orange and black burkini/swimwear/widely-debated-and-controversial- wetsuit. It is a treat, if you can call stumbling across a clumsy hijabi in an orange-and-black wetsuit and questionable swimming/hurricane survival skills a “treat.” Point is, burikinis cover all the essentials and will keep you nice and safe from the harsh hurricane elements. Plus, because they’re so controversial, news media will immediately find you the minute you put one on. It’s like a wearable “help me” sign. In the midst of Matthew, does it matter whether you’re being recused from oppression or a hurricane?
For the love of all that is wet and deadly – it is hurriCANE, not hurriken. This is not up for debate. The fish that swim by will roll their eyes at you, I promise.
FOOD (PREFERABLY SHARK FRIENDLY)
Bring your M&Ms, bring your granola and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle – but if you decide to stick it out and want to survive, make sure you pack a seal or two. You never know when you’ll encounter a ravenous shark.
There is a chance, although admittedly small, that you will be swept away and deposited in some mystical underwater land in the event of a hurricane. You know who gets to rule this new land? You know who gets to write the constitution? That’s right. The guy with the waterproof parchment. Thank me later.