Go On, Irene
Yesterday morning I wasn't particularly concerned about Hurricane Irene but decided to buy bottled water and a few other supplies anyway, figuring, By the time you know for certain a storm'll hit, the stores have already sold out of everything. Indeed, almost half the shelves in my local supermarket's bottled-water aisle stood empty by one o'clock yesterday afternoon; there were still plenty of overpriced brands like Fiji water, but stocks of the store brand spring water ran low.
Still, "almost half the shelves empty" means "more than half the shelves full." I bought two small pallets of cheap store-brand water bottles, still doubting I'd actually have to drink them anytime soon, and by the time I got home and hauled the water, canned meats and assorted no-refrigeration snacks I'd bought into my kitchen, the weather reports had changed; instead of saying "chance Irene might hit" they all warned of a "SEVERE THREAT TO THE NORTHEAST." And the reports specifically cited Hartford and New York, and I live between those two cities in a valley that got slammed back during the infamous Flood of '55 (caused when the rains of a dying hurricane drenched already-soaked ground like the kind we have right now, here in Connecticut) and in fact -- although you'd never guess it, to look around my neighborhood -- I live only a few feet from the bank of a formerly aboveground river that had an entire residential neighborhood built over it sometime in the past century or so.
Vast is the difference between "an emergency kit you buy when you don't really expect anything to happen" and "the emergency kit you want when you think something actually will." So I went shopping again to negate the differential, and now I'm hustling to finish some writing assignments that aren't actually due until next week, but now I want them done and gone by Saturday, just in case I lose power the next day and don't regain it by deadline. I'm also turning sandwich bags into ice bags as fast as my three ice cube trays will let me.
Damned annoying hurricanes.