Twisting the Night Away: Planning a Hurricane Party
By Cheryl Hill-Burrier
It's hurricane season, a time when the weather can take a nasty turn in a matter of hours. The kick-off date begins on June 1st and runs through November 30th, with August being the peak period for hurricane activity. For the U.S., Hurricane Alley runs from the coast of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico at Texas, incorporating 17 states and 3700 miles.
Having briefly lived along the Texas Coast (at a sea level of 3 feet), the high winds and rain from a nighttime tropical storm were enough to make our home sway and groan while the lower level flooded – leaving me to down a whole bottle of wine, minus the glass, while wearing a life jacket!
Regardless of my phobias, there exist true sea-loving, eternal optimists who grasp the opportunity to call for a Hurricane Party. A hurricane party is different from any other, given that those hosting and those attending are attempting to ride out the wrath of Mother Nature. But, just how does a body go about deciding who to invite and who not to invite, let alone what kind of food and drinks to serve, and by the way, where do guests park their cars?
Well, if you're a newn resident to the coastal area, hurricane parties are meant to ease the stress by inviting family or friends to your boarded up or shuttered home. Routinely, choosing a host home is achieved somewhat along the line of the three little pigs story; the dwelling must be sturdy, in the safest location and capable of housing several people for as long as three or four days.
But, you don't have to live in hurricane alley, and you don't have to have destructive weather to throw a hurricane party, so celebrate the season!
The hurricane party is all about atmosphere and simple food and drinks served using disposable plates, cups and utensils. Rooms or porches should be illuminated by flashlight, candlelight, or kerosene lamp.
Notable edibles include New Orleans-style food and the gale force of all drinks, the Hurricane. This drink was invented at Pat O'Briens' bar in New Orleans, and named for the hurricane lamp shaped glass in which it is served. You can always enhance the party by playing some New Orleans jazz, or even Jimmy Buffet on a battery-operated radio.
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Above all, eat, drink, be safe, and don't forget your party attire -- the life jacket!
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For Hurricane Preparedness Information contact the National Hurricane Center.
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