Batten Down the Hatches, My Pretties!

A hurricane’s a comin’! A hurricane’s a comin’! And on the heels of the biggest earthquake to have rocked New York since 1884, no less. Truly, such a confluence of natural disasters might (I said might) make certain people draw some End of Days conclusions. Pfft. Why are you looking at me like that? Okay, so I may have mentioned that I like to be prepared for the worst. So sue me. As I have the security of my property—and my seemingly undeterred weekend house guests—to consider, I thought I’d go down the FEMA checklist for hurricane preparedness to see how we rate. FEMA, you remember those guys from Hurricane Katrina, right?

Anyhoo, to prepare for a hurricane FEMA suggests we all take the following measures:

Make plans to secure your property. Board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.

Hmmm. Must remember to ask the local hardware store to stock marine plywood. Say, what is the difference between marine plywood and ordinary plywood anyway?

Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.

Check. I’m thinking the shims B used to secure our storm gutters may stand us in good stead. Don’t know what shims are, but we do have storm gutters! That sounds pretty good.

Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.


Check! We are all over this one. We just spent a bazillion dollars having two-and-a-half trees cut down. Don’t ask about the half tree. It was our effort to assuage the safety concerns of our next-door neighbor (Are your ears burning, K?).

Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.


Check. There was enough cursing and blinding from high places last weekend to suggest that, indeed, our gutters are clean and free of debris.

Determine how and where to secure your boat.


Check and double check. That is, if they mean the river canoe that’s been lying idly on its side, taking up space in our one-car garage all summer. Now, how to secure the Subaru?

Consider building a safe room.

I’m just going to pretend they meant mudroom. Check.

Okay. We’re all set. Stay safe this weekend, everyone. We’ll be wine drinking—I mean storm watching—at Smallpeace.

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
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2 Responses to Batten Down the Hatches, My Pretties!

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    See — you did the whole checklist (one way or another) and it all paid off. Here you are, safe and sound!

    (BTW, I knew we were somehow the same person in parallel dimensions, here is my tribute to my Subaru:
    https://berkshireviews.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/portrait-of-my-forester/
    It is THE New England car.)

    • Smallpeace says:

      Couldn’t love our Subaru more! It’s the first really “nice” car we’ve had and it has saved my behind in rain and snow storms. Money well spent, my Subaru sister.

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