By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
Living in Guam does have its pros and cons. One con: Guam is situated in an area of the Pacific called “Typhoon Alley.” As you may already have guessed, typhoons (a fancy, exotic word for hurricane) pop up regularly and somehow decide to make Guam a part of their blood path.
I’ve had my share of typhoons in my 18 years of life. The first one was good ol’ Typhoon Paka in 1997. I was only three-years-old, and I barely remember the details of the disaster. I do recall a few vague, cloudy snippets of the storm: the power outages, the fallen trees and my mom trying to put me to sleep against the backdrop of the pouring rain and howling, Category 5 winds. Like I said, I don’t remember much, but I knew it was bad, so bad that Paka was even upgraded to Super Typhoon status and the name “Paka” was retired from the list of hurricane names. I didn’t even know that was remotely possible.
In 2002, we had Super Typhoon Chata’an. In Chamorro, the native language of Guam, Chata’an means “rainy day.” And boy was that day rainy. Hell, it was a torrential downpour. I don’t remember much of Chata’an except that it ruined my summer.
A year and a half later, in December 2003, we had Super Typhoon Pongsona (pronounced PONG-SONG-WAH). Pongsona was nothing short of a bitch. It flooded streets and downed power and telephone poles. Guam was devastated. Oh, and Ponsonga had the audacity to prance its way into Guam a few weeks before Christmas. The nerve.
We didn’t have electricity for almost a month, if not more. It was a really big deal, actually, so big that the daily newspaper had a little box on the front page detailing how much of the island had its power back and which part of the island the power company was working to repair next. With each passing day, the percentage enclosed in the box increased: 12 percent, 20 percent, 45 percent and eventually 100 percent. Luckily, my neck of the woods was one of the first to have electricity reinstalled, so that was great.
Water was also a problem. If I remember correctly (I’m writing this all from memory okay, so if any of you Guamies notice anything wrong, forgive me), there was a water outage, too. And if you did have water, it was probably unsafe to drink it.
Ponsonga is the last typhoon I can recall because it was so catastrophic. If there were any other typhoons after it, they were probably too tame compared to Ponsonga to be worth remembering.
Guam has been typhoon-free for several years. And that is why I find it ironic that once I leave Guam and move to Boston, I get struck by Hurricane Sandy.
Last night, I was chatting with a friend from Guam that now attends school in Portland, Ore. Of course, Sandy made its way to the conversation and my friend told me not to worry, because I’m from Guam and therefore typhoon-proof.
In retrospect, I guess I am. This is the plus side of living in typhoon alley. Almost instinctively upon hearing about Sandy, I began to gather all the essentials in case of a disaster. I got my cereal and other snacks tucked in my shelf along with a couple of toiletries. I’ve been keeping track of Sandy and any pertinent news relating to school and the T.
It’s actually quite amusing to hear my friends from California and other parts of the hurricane-free world panic about the storm, and I’m just calm and nonchalant about it.
In the end, I’m very grateful that sunlight is starting to seep its way into Boston and that Sandy is starting to become a memory. My thoughts go out to those who have been ravaged by her. I’ve been there before, and it’ll soon pass.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
Well, Sandy is on her way, and in the spirit of all natural disaster preparation, munchies are at the top of extreme necessities. I was at Shaw’s last night along with what felt like all of the Bostonian community, stocking up on groceries to last a week. Clearly, I ignored the fact that the storm is only supposed to stay until Wednesday. You can never be too prepared. If the winds, up to 90 miles per hour tonight, aren’t bad enough for you, being snackless would really put a damper on the storm. Here are the essentials:
1. Dry cereal
We all know that cereal is the best. And it’s good for any time of day. Get it while it’s there, though. A reliable source (okay, my roommate) told me that they are already out of Apple Jacks at City Co. I picked up a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats because I can never get enough of them.
On the Snacker Crackers’ box, it says, “essential everyday.” They aren’t lying. Crackers should be their own disaster relief food group. There were enough boxes at the store last night to pick up a few. If the cracker is too plain for your taste buds, a jar of peanut butter or Nutella wouldn’t hurt to throw in the shopping cart.
3. Granola bars
Another alternative to crackers, granola bars are just plain good to have, whether you fear starvation or not. They come in giant super saver amounts, so they’ll be able to keep you inside for days before you decide you come out from your hurricane shelter. Some granola bars are even packed with dried fruit and other healthy ingredients, fulfilling any need for real food that expires without a fridge. That’s right, we thought ahead for a possible power outage.
4. Popcorn and hot chocolate*
Who doesn’t love popcorn? And hot chocolate is my go-to beverage whenever I encounter a life-threatening storm. Build a fort in your residence, grab your favorite DVD or a book, and snuggle with that stuffed animal we all know and love. Hit up that Hurricane Sandy Playlist as well, and you’ve got yourself a pretty comfortable set-up to battle Sandy.
5. Instant drinks
So, your mom called and told you to stock up on water. Done. But that’s kind of boring, so pick up some water add-ins to spice up your hurricane hibernation life. I picked up a box of Arnold Palmer Stix, and those should last me through the storm considering there are 20 servings. Time will tell.
6. Wine, rum, etc.
When social media falls through after the power outage, you’re going to need SOMETHING to keep you entertained. My roommate swears by putting rum in her hot chocolate. A bottle of wine’s relatively cheap on a college student budget. I’m sure a few stores are still open. There’s no roommate bonding more powerful than drinking together in hopes of survival.
But really, good luck with the storm everyone! I will be rooting for you from inside my blanket fort. No joke.
*Note: In the event of a power outage, pre-popped popcorn is a good substitute. As for the hot chocolate, well, my day will get a little worse without it.
By Lauren Dezenski, Online Editor
With all of this (legitimate) hype over the superstorm Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy, it’s high time we prepare in every way, shape and form possible. Translation: make a playlist.
You’re welcome, Eastern Seaboard.
Ke$ha’s “Blow” starts things on the right foot–who doesn’t love Ke$ha, or better yet, the visual of that glittery betch getting blown away by the 65+ MPH wind gusts expected in Boston on Monday. Which brings me to the next song…
“Manic Monday” by the Bangles. If classes aren’t cancelled, you bet your bottom dollar shit’s gonna get real manic, especially for those girls’ hairdos undoubtedly mussed by Sandy’s gusts. Monday’s forecast: rainy with a 95 percent chance of topknots. I see you, COM girls.
Not to be forgotten: “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I personally believe this song’s potential would only be improved by listening to this on the 26th floor of StuVi II as it sways in the wind. BECAUSE APPARENTLY THAT HAPPENS.
Other goodies: “Sandy” by John Travolta (sorry, I had to), “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” by the Arcade Fire (I just can’t quit those catchy indie Canadians, plus I live in Allston so my power probably will go out), “Hurricane Drunk” by Florence and the Machine (for those Halloweenies still hung over from this weekend’s festivities–not that I would know, I stayed in and watched The Weather Channel. I’m so cool, right?).
Things end with “The New Jersey Song,” a lil’ gem I encountered by searching “New Jersey” on Spotify, and ode to the Garden State’s position as essentially Sandy’s target as it swings westward and makes landfall on Monday evening. Here’s to hoping this weather event calms hostilities between the Real Housewives of New Jersey … and their implants float.
A man on The Weather Channel told me to put bags full of water in my freezer and now I’m telling you to listen to this playlist. When this randomly shuts off in the middle of you blasting it from the speakers in your apartment, it’ll be an epic way to realize you’ve lost power.