TWBP: Flashlights, Bottled Water and Booze – A Survivor’s Tale

by November 1, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,458 0


Surviving Sandy in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWBP (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT] and follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.

Sandy reminded me of another reason why I love living in Borderstan.

I keep emergency supplies in our apartment, maybe because I grew up in rural West Virginia and have been snowed in, perhaps because I watch too many zombie movies. I can relate to wanting to be prepared, though the empty Safeway shelves and general run on bottled water and flashlights immediately before a storm do crack me up. I saw one woman on Sunday carting home about six cases of water bottles.

Of course I’m one to talk. I realized that we only had one flashlight in the house, despite preparations for other storms over the last year and a half.  I ended up coming home from Logan Hardware with a ladybug nightlight/flashlight and some flickering battery operated candles on Sunday.

If I had moved out to the suburbs, I couldn’t have run out to the store a block away right before the rain started for some dish detergent and extra wine. And I would be more concerned about getting stuck without power in areas that would be low on the Pepco priority list.  The power lines are mostly underground, so we run less of a risk for lines downed by trees.

I also heard reports from friends that Cork and Fork was open Monday afternoon, as well as Stoney’s and Bar Pilar, and Whole Foods.

Most importantly, if we had moved away from Borderstan, I would have missed out on the impromptu happy hour in the common area of our building on Monday evening. While the storm raged (well, raged-ish) outside, Baby got to run around and expend some pent up energy with other kids from our building, and we got to hang out with some of our wonderful neighbors, all without stepping outside!

Baby has been going a little stir-crazy the last two days, but that would have happened anywhere, and it’s something I’ll have to learn to deal with this winter anyway. But we were able to let her run around in the halls and visit with her baby friends without having to go outside. Suddenly the lack of a yard doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

So Sandy didn’t really affect us too much, but my thoughts are with those who didn’t fare so well. It was a big storm and things could have been much worse here; it’s always good to play it safe and be prepared.


  1. Drinking Water (one gallon per person per day):  We keep one of those 5 gallon water dispenser jugs. You can also fill pitchers and other containers, no need for dozens of individual water bottles.
  2. Hand crank radio.
  3. Food:  Check the use by dates. A number of canned products and packaged meals, like Dinty Moore, are good for several years.
  4. Extra medications/first aide supplies.
  5. Flashlights and batteries.

Preparation tips:

  1. Do the laundry.
  2. Run the dishwasher.
  3. Give everyone a bath.
  4. Take out the trash.
  5. Fill the bathtub with water (to flush the toilet).
  6. Watch The Walking Dead and Revolution.
  7. Sign up for crossbow lessons.

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