The Bar Belle Hurricane Survival Guide

With Hurricane Isabel expected to hit Washington, D.C. sometime Thursday evening and continue to unleash her wrath of rain and wind through Friday, it looks like weekend plans could be as soggy as the weather. But, fear not, because this Belle has a prepared a hurricane survival guide to combat the other ‘Bel’.

It’s easy to say, “Let’s have a hurricane party!” – as a guy in one of my classes suggested without a hint of creativity – but then you know what to expect. The great thing about hurricanes is the unexpected. Sure, the National Weather Service can issue hourly warnings and the media can report on evacuation of coastal towns, but once the storm hits its every man, woman and beer-drinking college student for him or herself.

Going back to the hurricane party … The National Hurricane Center suggests that you have at least three gallons of water per person in case the water supply is contaminated due to flooding. A good way to do this is to fill up a bathtub with water before the storm. But when it’s a hurricane party, the best way is to fill up a bathtub with ice and beer.

In addition to having canned food and a can opener, hurricane party planners should also make sure there are bottle openers, cork screws and shot glasses available. It is recommended, however, that the above items be stored in a secured location in case of damaging winds.

Once the hurricane hits, there is a possibility of flying debris and damaging winds. In case of that threat, the National Hurricane Center suggests that you provide ample padding to protect yourself from wind. Which makes sense since an assortment of pillows and soft mattresses will be a welcomed place to pass out after all the beer in the bathtub is consumed.

If Hurricane Isabel causes extensive flooding in the city on Friday and Saturday, it’s best to seek higher ground. Since I am determined to hit the bars regardless of rain, sleet or dark of night, it makes the most sense to seek bars this weekend that are unlikely to be affected by flooding. So, apologies to the Frog, McFadden’s, Madhatter, Buffalo Billiards, and anyone who wanted to end summer with a stop to Tony and Joe’s on the waterfront will probably be out of luck.

Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill and any other bar on higher ground are best bets to risk being swept away by rising floodwaters. One should also look at the structural integrity of the bar before entering. Any signs of broken glass, unhinged doors or collapsed roofs should be proceeded with caution before entering.

The University will be updating campus advisories throughout the weekend. The Bar Belle recommends you that you follow these guidelines before inebriating yourself during the course of a weather emergency.

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