September 1, 2012 7:19:35 PM
It's in the middle of the heavy rains and strong winds of Hurricane Isaac that I write this column with one hand on my worrisome Shih-Tzu Sophia, the other on the keyboard -- "worrisome" not that she worries me, but that she worries about the weather more than most people I know.
We have been glued to the Weather Channel, CNN, and local stations reporting on the devastation in neighborhoods mostly on the Gulf Coast and in Louisiana parishes. I just saw an elderly woman sliding off her roof into a boat and, before that, a man climbing out of his upstairs window with his dog in his arms. When Mother Nature comes a-calling, it's best to heed her warnings.
The wind is blowing through my wind chimes in the backyard, and it sounds like an offbeat orchestra. The only thing I can do besides send up a small prayer for those who are far worse off than us as Isaac travels through our neck of the woods is give some tips on how to prepare for the next hurricane or tropical storm.
We all have enough experts telling us about the precautions we should take in an emergency when it comes to stocking up on non-perishable food items, batteries, flashlights, bottled water and such. But with so many power outages, it's also good to have tips that can save you time and energy as it relates to a keeping yourself from looking frazzled during a crisis.
First, grab a small bag and organize your essentials: toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, dental floss, cotton swabs, deodorant, antibacterial wipes for hands, shaving cream, razor and anything else that comes under the heading of "essential personal hygiene." Always keep travel sizes on hand to free up more room in your bag. And here's the best tip of all: Remember to put a tiny flashlight in the bag within reach, to light your way when the electricity is not available, along with a travel mirror and a bottle of water.
Next, whether you are home alone or sleeping on Aunt Fran's pullout sofa, you will want some of the things that will make you feel most put together and help you pass the time until the storm has passed.
Grab a slightly larger tote and fill it with your favorite cosmetics -- a fragrance, nail kit, dry shampoo, if possible a battery-operated flat iron or curling iron and, yes, these things may not seem important now, but when you look like a drowned rat several hours into your stay-in, with no electricity or evacuation, you will be glad you thought of these two beauty survival kits tucked away in the closet.
You might even want to plan ahead and pack a good book or magazine to read by an open window, several fresh changes of undergarments, rain boots, pajamas, and scented hand creams in case Aunt Fran's rollaway bed smells a bit like moth balls.
Sophia and I are going to cuddle here in the sanctity of our cozy bed watching television unless the lights go out and say a little prayer of thanksgiving that we are safe and sound for now. I know when you read this column that Isaac will be long gone. Only the damages will be left. My prayers are with those families who were affected most, and I hope you will take all the precautions for the next storm sure to head our way, from flashlights and bottled water to those emergency beauty survival kits you have tucked away in the closet. Be safe and beautiful.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.