Calm Before the Storm: Hurricane Henri on the Way

Dear Son,

While I trust you will be absolutely fine in your college dorm room these next few days with a hurricane heading your way, I cannot help but worry. You may be 22 years old but my instinct to protect you and your sister will remain undiminished throughout my life.

Today it is the calm before the storm and we are preparing here at home. Unlike every other storm, this is the first time you have not been with us when the forecast has turned grim. And, as if I need to remind you, we are still in the pandemic, making a major storm potentially more perilous than ever.

According to CNN,

Hurricane Henri puts 42 million under storm alerts as it heads to the Northeast coast


Hurricane warnings have been issued for nearly 6 million people in areas including parts of Long Island, and from New Haven, Connecticut, to west of Westport, Massachusetts.
More than 36 million other people are under tropical storm warnings, including parts of New Jersey and New York — including New York City — and large parts of southern New England.

Take these 15 steps today before the hurricane hits

  1. Flashlight — see if you can find the one we sent you with freshman year (look in the bin under your bed) and get some fresh batteries.
  2. Car — fill up your car and try to park it away from trees. Is there a covered lot you can park in for the next few days?
  3. Cash — don’t run out. Run by a cash machine today, if possible.
  4. Phone — Charge your phone and computer and keep them charged.
  5. Water — pick up some extra water bottles and keep the water bottles we bought for you filled, too.
  6. Food — stock up on protein bars and non-perishable comfort food that doesn’t require refrigeration.
  7. Change of clothing — pack a small bag and have it ready with basics in case you need to leave quickly.
  8. Waterproof jacket — try to find it now.
  9. Emails and texts from school — pay close attention to the communication from your school and, if they say it is time to go to the gym or dining hall for safety, GO!
  10. Check on any friends whose housing situations might be more vulnerable than yours. It’s at times like this that we need to be there for each other.
  11. Medicine — pack any of your meds for several days, pick up refills now and take pictures of the medicine bottles with the RX numbers in case you need to call the pharmacy for refills.
  12. Glasses — find your eyeglasses in case your contacts tear or you lose one.
  13. Stay alert and don’t even think of partaking in any Hurricane parties, even socially distanced ones!
  14. Add local police, sheriff, and other important phone numbers into your phone. Write them down and put the paper in your wallet, too.
  15. Check for hurricane Henri weather updates and stay informed about what’s happening with the storm. I know you hate me hovering and find it insulting to your maturity for me to tell you what to do. I get that and disliked my parents fretting about me, too.

In addition to your absence from our family’s safe nest, it is the uncertainty of this storm that has me on edge. During all these years of being your mom I have, admittedly, worried too much about silly things, but this is not one of those.

Take care (you know I mean it this time!)


You Might Also Want to Read:

Live Track Hurricane Henri – NY Times

Tropical Storm Henri Announcements Preparedness – NOAA

How to Help Your College Student Prepare for a Natural Disaster

Thanks to the Children’s Communication Center, Inc. for your input.

About Mary Dell Harrington

Mary Dell is the co-founder of Grown and Flown, the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. She started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and is co-author of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Mary Dell

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