Hurricane Andrew Then, Isaac Now: Stock Up With Gourmet Goodies
|All photos by Laine Doss|
|Time to stock up on tuna.|
At the time, the Category 5 hurricane that barreled right across the state of Florida, was the costliest disaster in history, with about $26.5 billion in damages. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina surpass Andrew with over $100 billion in damages to the residents of Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Regardless of dollar amounts and statistics, being in the middle of a major hurricane is an experience you don't forget. I know because I experienced both Andrew in Miami and the aftermath of Katrina right outside of New Orleans.
What I can recall during Andrew itself is not much. Once the storm hit west Kendall, where I was living, things happened fast. The sliding glass doors to my apartment imploded. The roof peeled off. The electricity went out and visibility was next to nil, but I remember seeing first palm trees bending, then breaking... then flying off into the night. Street lights were torn from their foundations. Cars were being moved by the wind. The steel security door to my apartment started caving in and out, like it was breathing. They say tornadoes and hurricanes sound like freight trains. To me, they sounded like the gates of hell unleashed, if there is such a thing. Then, suddenly, the storm was over. The sun came out.
Kendall was a war zone. Everything was destroyed. The day was spent assessing what was gone. At the time, no one had cell phones. The first night, we were alone. We heard shots in the distance. The following day saw the National Guard pointing weapons at civilians who waited in the heat for two hours for a jug of water. They were also trying to control the looting, the robbery, the panic that sets in after you learn that everything you had is now gone.
After Andrew, I learned my lesson. Every year, I set up a hurricane kit. It's not prepping for a zombie apocalypse or the overthrow of the government. It's just common sense.
If you want to prepare for a storm, you should have a gallon of water per person per day stored away, plain bleach to sanitize tap water, battery-operated lanterns, a small charcoal grill (never grill indoors), plastic plates and utensils, baby or pet items, and enough non-perishable food to last at least 48 hours.
Sure there's the usual peanut butter and cereal bars, but a hurricane kit doesn't have to be all water-and-sardines. Here are a few items we found at Whole Foods Market that will last without refrigeration and kick up your hurricane kit a notch. Here's hoping we won't need it.