547 words • 3~4 min read

Briefly: Weather Preparedness

It’s Kansas. This time of year is pretty much defined by it’s HOLY BALLS WHAT THE FUCK weather. I mean there’s a reason that XKCD had this to say about the midwest on April Fools:

Shit, that earthquake thing legitimately happened in November. Half of Lawrence went, “WTF, was that an earthquake?”

Anyway, thing is: I’ve lived in Kansas since summer 2003, and I’ve had two major ugly weather situations. Honestly, I’d call those decent odds. (I also lived in Omaha, Nebraska, before that. We once had a snowstorm that knocked out power for a couple days.)

In the winter of 2007 there was a great big ice storm. It was my very first ice storm, actually, and my car narrowly missed getting hit by a falling tree. (I’d nearly parked where it fell, then instead changed my mind and parked behind my friend’s house.) In June 2008 Manhattan got a tornado, and it was big news. Weather that week was fucking crazy. There was a storm earlier that week where it was legitimately nighttime-fucking-dark at 10AM. Weather! What the fuck.

And now, apparently it’s going to be a bumpy weekend in the midwest. Ugh. The build-up is honestly worse than the shitty weather. When the shitty weather hits, it’s there. Nothing to do but batten down the hatches and get your shit together. When everyone spends a whole twenty-fours previous shouting THE SKY IS FALLING, I can’t help but sort of freak out.

I’m not great at having a weather preparedness kit, which is to say — I don’t. I always make the plan, but never execute. It adds to my grocery budget. Our monthly budget is very tight, I’m not going to lie to you, and I never think to add to it.

Instead, I sort of panic around the apartment getting stuff in order when the Weather Channel declares HOLY SHIT WEATHER INCOMING. Thankfully this year we live on the ground floor, and our bathroom is windowless and central to the building. It’s the safest thing we have going. Our upstairs neighbor is even aware that when the weather makes her nervous, she’s absolutely welcome to come downstairs. The only thing I want to control that I can’t is that Andy works 2PM to close tomorrow. Still, I trust that Hastings has a bad weather plan.

I know where my weather radio/flashlight is. (Actually, thank goodness my father-in-law gave me one when he visited last month; our last one got somehow dismantled by the child.) I have batteries in it. (Four I found around the house, six extra from the broken radio.) I filled the bottles and jugs around the house with water. I know where our candles are, as well as two lighters and two matchbooks. I know where the additional flashlight is, as well as the extra battery pack.

Seriously. Weather. I’m gonna go clean my bathroom in case we get trapped in there.