I’ll admit it. My first reaction toward hearing about Hurricane Irene earlier this week was purely selfish.

My OBX vacation would definitely NOT be starting this Saturday as planned. {Insert adult language.}

It never really occurred to me that even though I wasn’t headed to the Outer Banks I would still be effected by this storm. Clearly, Irene has other plans.

This has the potential to be the greatest hurricane to hit the Northeast in decades. Now, I’m not a fear monger. I don’t run to the grocery store at the first sight of snow and I certainly don’t jump on the latest media-frenzied parenting scare. But I am Type A and like to do my research.

The facts: The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Irene could dump more than a foot of rain on the Maryland area. The Weather Channel trend forecasts over 100 mph winds in our region late Saturday/early Sunday morning. Governor O’Malley has officially declared a state of emergency. BGE is prepping for widespread power outages.

The verdict: Time to start giving Irene the respect she is so clearly demanding.

These are not professional tips — they are my own. Take ’em with a grain of salt. Here’s how our family is preparing in no particular order of importance:

  • Nab and charge an extra cell battery. If power goes out, cell phones should still {hopefully — provided we won’t have take two of Tuesday’s earthquake-related cell meltdown in the mid-atlantic region).
  • Power up the iPad. We’ll be making sure to have a few movies to entertain the Bug (preferably NOT Pocahontas. I can’t watch it one more time…). TV trance might not be so bad of a thing in the event of crazy high winds.
  • Make sure “follows” are up to date. I don’t know about you, but Twitter was my most reliable source of info during Tuesday’s earthquake. I’ll be following BGE, State of Maryland, Baltimore City Agencies, and the local news stations. Be curious to see which one is the fastest with info!
  • Put emergency numbers all in one place. Just in case the iPhone doesn’t work, I’ll want the comfort of knowing how I can reach my pediatrician (not just rely on the directory. Yeah, I can’t remember phone numbers anymore). Power outage?BGE wants reports to be submitted via phone: 1.877.778.2222.

  • Stock up on essentials: Batteries, flashlights, snacks, water, anything medical, toys, and restock the craft bin — note to self: buy Motts Fruit Snacks for Tots and buckets. Guess we’ll definitely figure out where that leak is now… Need more ideas about essentials? Visit Ready.gov.
  • Become familiar with these flash light games. Never know when this will come in handy…
  • Note potential flying objects and remove them. Our patio furniture will be finding a comfy spot in the garage. And the tree that’s leaning in the backyard due to ground saturation will be dealt with -THIS EVENING.
  • Fill ‘er up: Not that we’re going anywhere, but we will have a full tank of gas.

What would you add?