Hurricane Earl

As of 5 p.m. today, a hurricane watch went out for Cape Hatteras up to the North Carolina/ Virginia border. Living on the east coast where I do, we are far enough inland that we don't usually worry about hurricanes.

But, this being Labor Day weekend coming up, my kids and their dad are grabbing the opportunity to take a mini-vacation down the shore. Wildwood is almost a tradition for my kids and this year they managed to get it in before the official end of summer. Now it looks like they may be spending part of their vacation dealing with rain and winds.

It's not like we haven't been through this before. I remember one year we planned a week in Wildwood only to have a hurricane threaten a direct hit and then turn at the last moment. It was cold, rainy but we still managed to have fun.

Hurricane season for many means being prepared and having a hurricane kit ready. A hurricane kit should include water, food that doesn't need to be heated (in case you lose power), candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, prescription medication, cash (yes- cash- what if you cannot get to an ATM) and anything else your family cannot live without. Having stuff ready to entertain your kids like maybe board games that you can play together as a family.

Even if you do not live on the coast you should still be prepared for the heavy rains and winds that accompany a hurricane. If you have a basement, take a look around and make sure you are not storing anything on the floor that might get wet if you sometimes get flooding in your basement. Take a look around your patio also. Secure garbage cans and anything that could easily be taken away by the wind.

Remember that it is a holiday weekend and banks will be closed on Monday. The storm (if it is to hit where projected) will probably affect the NJ/NY area sometime Friday night into Saturday. Depending on where you live, you could experience rain, wind, a combination of both or maybe nothing at all. Hurricanes are unpredicatable but being prepared is not hard to do. It can save you money and aggravation.

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