By Wilson G.

Last year I was caught completely unprepared for Hurricane Irene.

I was travelling overseas to Israel for Glenn’s Restoring Courage event and as that massive project wound down and we all prepared to fly back to New York City, we finally paid a little attention to the news back home. And what we saw was kind of scary: A (supposedly) huge hurricane, Irene, was headed straight for New York City. IF we made it out of Tel Aviv, I would have only a few hours to stock up on any provisions I might need to survive without power or a grocery store.

Luckily, we were on the last flight out of the country (one of our party ended up being stranded for three extra days) and landed early in the morning the day that Irene was going to hit. Since I didn’t have any water, I made sure to stop and buy forty dollars worth of bottled water at JFK before heading home. That was about all I had.

I ran home, packed a bag with a little food, and walked over to my girlfriend’s apartment. She had stocked up on a few items after she got back (she was in Israel too), but not a lot was left at the grocery store.

Let’s just say we were lucky that Irene was no where near as bad as it was hyped up to be for New York City.

But I learned my lesson, and more importantly I learned something that Glenn talks about everyday: There’s nothing crazy about being prepared for a potential disaster. Seriously, why is it crazy to have a few days worth of food, water, and various other sundries just in case something unexpected happened?

So when the news came on about Sandy, I was more than prepared.

My fiance and I were already well stocked on batteries, flashlights, canned goods, and dry food. We had enough to last a few days without power at least. We also have a hand crank radio to keep up with any major news. iPads, laptops, and wireless cards are charging in case power goes out and we need to access e-mail or the internet.

On Friday on the way home from work, I picked up a case of bottled water while the cashier joked about people “freaking out” over the storm. I told her I’d like to have it around the house, storm or no storm.

On Saturday we went shopping, and on the way home we stopped at Whole Foods and got some fresh meat and vegetables. If we lost power, it probably wouldn’t happen until sometime on Monday, but we knew if we had some fresh food we wouldn’t have to dig into any of our non-perishables for a day or two if the worst happened (and as of writing this now I’ve only eaten one chocolate chip granola bar as a snack). Again, nothing that anyone sane would consider over prepared, just a fully stocked fridge and pantry.

After dropping off our shopping bags and groceries, I ran out to the store Saturday night and grabbed two gallons of water.

Was I stressed on Sunday when everyone really started to freak out about the weather? Nope. I had listened to Glenn.

Sunday night I made a trip to the store to get coffee, the one thing neither of us remembered to pick up earlier in the week. Luckily that was all we needed. Milk, bread, and most other staples were cleared out and people were stocking up on cereal and Pop Tarts.

Now, none of the above should be considered “super” prepared. Glenn and his family could last over a month with the food he has stored in the event of an emergency (maybe less if he doesn’t change his eating habits for the apocalypse). I told myself I would make a Go Bag that weekend of Irene, and I still haven’t. I told myself I would always have three days worth of water, and I still had to go to the store to be prepared (In my defense, my fiance dipped into all the “emergency water” over the past year). I should have more than just three days of non-perishable food.

But at least I’m not scrambling around trying to find supplies hours before a potentially deadly and devastating storm. And that sense of calm, relief, and security has made the minimal effort for basic preparedness more than worth it.

And I bet I feel a whole lot better than those people who were calling Glenn crazy for talking about “food storage” and “preparation”.