12 Essential Frankenstorm Preparation Tips for Parents

There is some kind of weather freak-out bearing down on the East coast, which means if you haven’t gone out to fight to the death over the last two loaves of bread, your whole family is going to be reduced to some kind of Hunger Games spin-off. Because obviously, there will never be milk and bread again, ever. Except, you know, in like 48 hours. But whatever.

My family lived in Texas for a couple years, and so we got really good at preparing for Mother Nature’s rather frequent gifts of hurricanes and tornadoes and the like. Yeah, yeah, obviously you need shelf-stable milk and granola bars. But more importantly, you need a few critical things so that you, the parent, won’t completely lose your ever-loving mind.

May we all get through Frankenstorm Sandy safely, and without having an embarrassing parental tantrum. Oh, and if you’re looking for an actual, legit list of storm preparation tips, check out Julie Miner’s excellent, comprehensive list over on Babble Voices: 25 Ways to Prepare for the Frankenstorm.

  • Benadryl 1 of 12
    Disclaimer: my kids and I really do have a lot of allergies, so Benadryl is the drug of choice for me and my kids. But also, after being inside the house all day, they might not be quite as tuckered out at bedtime as they normally would be. Let's just say that the Young Carnivores may have an "allergic reaction" those nights that requires treatment. (Note: Test this first. Some kids get even more jacked up on Benadryl.) (Second Note: You may see us in an upcoming episode of Intervention. Or possibly ABC will bring back the After School Special.) (Third Note: Kids, stay in school. You can read more about Benadryl at your local library.)

    (Available on Amazon, $7.37)
  • A source of caffeine that doesn’t involve plugging in the coffeemaker. 2 of 12
    A source of caffeine that doesn't involve plugging in the coffeemaker.
    You really, really don't want to go through this with a caffeine headache, do you?

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Chocolate 3 of 12
    Again, this is for you, not the kids. I'm a big fan of always keeping a hidden stash of chocolate behind the lentil soup, because seriously, no one will ever look there. When you're stuck in the house with no power, you might need a little something to take the edge off. And while it's probably not okay to tap that box of wine at 10 a.m., it's certainly fine to secretly nibble some chocolate.

    (Dove available on Amazon, Amazon, $26.50 for a pack of four 9.5-ounce packages. Health Valley Organic Lentil Soup available on Amazon, $34.92 per case of 12)
  • Facebook 4 of 12
    First of all, Facebook is Internet crack and you'll go into withdrawal without it. But also, you'll want to know what's going on in your community. And mostly you'll want to make snarky remarks about your neighbor's fugly gazebo blowing away, and you really shouldn't say that stuff out loud in front of the kids.

    (Photo Credit: stark. raving. mad. mommy.)
  • Icepack 5 of 12
    Cabin fever can cause all kinds of accidents. Like me taking a Lego Death Star to the skull at point-blank range because my kid has been cooped up in the house for too long.

    (Available on Amazon, $5.01)
  • Old School Games 6 of 12
    Old School Games
    That's right, kids! Before there was checkers on your Webkinz, Monopoly on your iPhone, and Solitaire on the laptop, there were actual games. Games that didn't require batteries, plugs, apps, or anything else. Now is the perfect time to steal all the board games out of your parents' house and bring them to yours.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Pain killers. 7 of 12
    Pain killers.
    Tylenol. Or aspirin. Or Anacin 3. Or whatever it is you take when all the kids are playing "light sabers" with vacuum cleaner parts. My choice was Tylenol when the girls were all screaming about which ones could be Jedis and which ones had to be the padawans; on top of that noise, Little Dude was screeching "YOU'RE NOT LISTERING TO ME!"

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Pet Supplies 8 of 12
    Pet Supplies
    Don't forget about Fluffy! Because if you have a pet and you run out of pet food, it's not just cruel ... it's super-annoying. You will end up giving your cat canned salmon and/or the cat will meow at you incessantly. And your dog will steal an entire bag of Doritos and have tummy troubles which will require taking him out more often than you'd care to during gale-force winds.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • A new video 9 of 12
    A new video
    You're going to need something to keep the kids busy while you board up the windows, pile up sandbags, or sit on the couch and surf Facebook. This is an excellent time to break out a new (to them) video. Next time you're in Walmart and passing by that bin of $1.97 movies, go ahead and grab a copy of Ernest Goes to Camp or whatever. You don't need fine cinema. Just something fresh. Because they've either already seen or already destroyed all the movies in your house.(Warning: When you're pawing through that bin of cheap DVDs, skip over Watership Down. Those are some scary, scary bunnies.)

    (Curious? Watership Down is available on Amazon, used from $5.47)
  • Ice Cream 10 of 12
    Ice Cream
    Yes, of course I know it's going to melt when the power goes out. That's the whole point. This will become one of your kids' favorite childhood memories. ("Remember that time the power went out and Mom let us have ice cream for dinner?") Yeah. So go ahead and pick up some 'scream.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • Meds. Especially your kid’s ADHD meds. 11 of 12
    Meds. Especially your kid's ADHD meds.
    Keeping my little ADHD-er trapped inside with her siblings, without even Just Dance to burn off the energy, isn't exactly delightful. Without her ADHD meds, it's a recipe for disaster--for all concerned.

    (Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
  • A small tool kit. 12 of 12
    A small tool kit.
    Of course, by a small tool kit, I mean duct tape, WD-40, and Febreze. Parents can solve almost any problem with just these three items. MacGyver would also need a ball-point pen and a paper clip, but not parents. We're good with just this.

(Photo Credit: Facebook/Radio 96.1

Read more from Joslyn at Babble Pets and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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