Raising Hurricane, or How to Prepare For Sandy and Throw the Best Hurricane-Themed Party Ever!

Drew Scheeler, Film and Television Reporter

As I type this article, it is 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon. In just a few short hours, one of two things will happen. There is an outside possibility that our campus and University Circle are about to become submerged under ten feet of water. Much more likely is that the prophecies of the Mayan calendar will become realized as Euclid Ave. cracks open, releasing a host of otherworldly creatures. This will also cause massive tidal waves that will level downtown Cleveland.

In all seriousness, we’re going to be underwater in any scenario and it’s time we prepare for this first apocalyptic test of our lives. Thankfully, we’ve been warned. As someone who has seen at least five natural disaster movies – six if you count “An Inconvenient Truth” – I am willing to risk my credibility by making some general predictions of where we’ll be this time next week.

The floods came fast. Most of us ventured out on our jury-rigged boats made from as many recycling bins we could lash together the first moment the rain let up. If we weren’t devoured by giant fish, we were caught by pirates. In the long run, those who survive will have to innovate. Those who stay behind will work on building lightweight aircrafts to travel around the remnants of campus, much like a character from a post-apocalyptic Miyazaki movie. Other students will try to develop water-bending skills. Unfortunately, unlike when characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender” do it, this water-bending will look a lot like splashing and will not be practical.

Either way, there is no way we are actually going to have classes if half of the campus is submerged. Case Western Reserve University might be notoriously stingy with giving us days off of school, but I am sure that we’ll be getting a Hurricane Sandy day. President Snyder obviously cares about both our educational opportunities and our personal safety. I’m sure she’ll cancel the first moment when, I don’t know, trees get knocked down or something. Since we won’t have class and we won’t have power to access the internet or homework we’ll be free to do whatever we want… like throw a hurricane-themed party!

If you’re like me, then you have probably assembled a playlist of relevant and event-appropriate music for your hurricane party. At one point in history, already having a mix tape themed to hurricanes before the disaster struck was a faux pas and a quick way to ensure social suicide. But now with Spotify and the ability to instantly compile tracks, you’ll have enough plausible deniability to appease anyone who questions your perfect timing. A good soundtrack can make or break any party. Certain songs will forever remind party-goers of looking at Sandy, staring into her eye and the other ephemeral experiences that are sure to develop at your party. What if I told you there was already a song that speaks to these very experiences, as performed by a 1980s German heavy metal band? That’s why Scorpions’ “Rock You like a Hurricane” has to be the first track on our playlist. Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” is also an essential track for any themed playlist, if only because it has hurricane in its title. Choosing the right performance is key however – most of Young’s live performances extend that song from eight minutes into a three day encore that could possibly outlast the storm itself. The Polaris track “Hey Sandy,” best known as the theme song to The Adventures of Pete and Pete, will also make the final cut. With lyrics vaguely hinting at the end of society, it seems all too appropriate in this example. Here’s another helpful tip: print out the lyrics and chords so you can still sing along when the power cuts out!

With the music set, one key question remains – what did people do to have fun before electricity? Reading will get pretty difficult once the Kindle’s battery dries up. Use what little paper remains to make origami boats you can float out your window! Try to race them against your friends’ for a great party activity. Another smart idea is to play a board game, like Monopoly. Think back to Atlantic City, N.J. at the turn of the 20th century, a land unpolluted by Snooki. You can even introduce your own special rules and game cards like “You won second-prize in the hurricane contest, collect ten dollars.” and “hurricane error in your favor, collect $200.” Here’s a party tip in honor of Hurricane Sandy: replace Free Parking with the Jersey Shore house. If you hit doubles, then you’ve caught a disease and need to pay $100 for medical treatment. Of course, you could always play the hurricane variant of Twister. That’s like regular twister, but you splash water in people’s faces as they try unsuccessfully to stay dry. Food is also going to be an issue without electricity. Your best bet is to let those taquitos defrost and risk food poisoning. Save the canned food for later.

The real secret to surviving in our new world of water is to avoid Dennis Hopper at all costs. Also, be sure to search out Kevin Costner, and you are all but assured of surviving to the end. Yes, both of those ideas are directly taken from the plot to the notorious flop movie Waterworld. Maybe the best way to get through this brave new world is to constantly find new ways to adapt to the abrupt and sudden changes. How prepared is the CWRU campus in the event of a real natural disaster? I guess we’re about to find out.