Hurricane Sandy was absolutely devastating to many: People died, people lost their homes and everything they had. As a result, I really couldn’t complain much when my only real inconvenience was not having electricity. It could be a whole lot worse. And honestly? It was a learning experience in not only basic first world survival skills, but also human nature. Here’s what I gathered from a week spent in the dark–and tips on how to deal.
Color code your closet and drawers.
If you’ve ever had to get dressed in the dark, you’ll know it ain’t easy. But if you organize your clothes to begin with by which items match what, it’s a lot less difficult.
Putting a hoodie on in the dark makes it darker.
Why? Because, if you’re like me and in a rush to stop being cold, you will put your hoodie on backwards, then wonder for a moment why you can’t see and why everything suddenly smells like fresh laundry.
Do your laundry consistently and regularly.
You never know when you’re going to be without fresh water or electricity, so changing your sheets and washing your clothes often will save you from having to wear stinky stuff and roll around in dirty bedding should disaster strike.
Fill your tank when it reaches the halfway point.
For you girls who can drive, take it from us: There’s nothing worse than waiting in line for gas for two hours, only to be told that they’re all out. Filling once you reach half a tank not only prevents scary situations, but it also keeps the fuel you do have from condensing and will, in the long run, save you some money.
Have spare, charged cell batteries, and use your phone sparingly.
If you know something wicked this way comes, prepare and charge up all your appliances–and have spare batteries just in case. Set your phone’s backlight to the lowest possible setting to save battery, and turn off your wireless Internet if you can.
Don’t be a brat.
It sucks not to have electricity or water, but guess what? Millions of people are forced to live like this every single day. If you have the luxury of complaining about it from an iPhone, you’re still luckier than a lot of people.
Make the most of your time.
Being disconnected from the digital world can actually feel like a vacation. Read books. Talk to your family. Knit. Draw. Sing. Play poker with pretzels. There are so many things that don’t require a USB cable that you may not even realized you missed.
Candlelight is universally flattering.
Seriously. Invite a dude over.
Lots of people with power restored have been letting friends and even strangers charge up their devices. People have been donating clothes, food, and spare cash to restore some families’ lives who lost everything. You’re probably luckier than you realize, and getting rid of some clothes or blankets or coats you never wear or use anymore anyway will not only feel good karmically, but will also free space in your closet for new stuff–which gives you an extra incentive to be kind.
You’ll surprise yourself.
If you think you can’t live without seeing the next episode of The Vampire Diaries, guess what? You can. You can also live without microwaved popcorn (this genuinely shocked me, as my diet is predominantly kettle corn and cake) and knowing the status of Jelena’s relaysh. As for the ability to survive without listening to One Direction, you’re on your own.
Others will surprise you, too.
You’ll likely be shocked at who does and doesn’t check in to see if you’re okay or who offers to help you out in your darkest (literal and figurative) hours. And usually it’s a pleasant revelation.
Remember that we’re all in this together.
Be good to one another. Be patient. Everyone is doing the best that they can with what they’re given. And if you’re not a team player, just know that if you think this is bad, you’re going to be in really bad shape when the zombie apocalypse hits. A word of advice: Be cooperative and aim for the head.
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? How are you dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Do you think you’d be prepared in a disaster? How are you giving back in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Tell us in the comments!