What to Do With Your Unused Hurricane Supplies

It’s better to be overstocked than underprepared, but what to do with all the leftovers? We’re here to help.

By: Sophie Gilbert

Here in Washington, we're all immensely grateful that Hurricane 2: The Wrath of Sandy was considerably less powerful than it was in New York. As of this morning, only around 100,000 homes in the region were without power—by comparison, this summer’s derecho caused outages in more than a million residences.

If you are one of the unlucky ones, we hope everything will be restored as speedily as possible. If not, you’re probably wondering what to do with all the bottled water, canned food, batteries, and flashlights you stockpiled this weekend. We're here to help!

Canned
Cupboards overflowing with canned beans, Chef Boyardee ravioli, and soup? Do the right thing and donate it to a food bank. Martha’s Table accepts deliveries every day from 10 to 4. The Capital Area Food Kitchen and DC Central Kitchen also accept donations. With winter approaching, it’s a good way to make sure the needy get a little extra help this year.
However, if any of these are in your pantry, do the world a favor and throw them away.

Bottled Water
That 1,000 pack of Crystal Geyser you bought in case the world ended? Sure, you can keep it in the garage and use it up over the course of a year or so. You could also heat it up and bathe in it, like a 21st-century version of Cleopatra.

Our recommendation? Throw a water party! Tell all your friends to come over and then let them know that 75 percent of the public is chronically dehydrated and you’re ready to help them repair their hypertonic cells. Yes, it’ll be the most boring party in history, but at least no one’ll have to worry about designated drivers.

Flashlights
This one’s easy. It’s Halloween! Just turn out all the lights, stand in your window, hold one under your chin, and freak out all the kids in the neighborhood.

Batteries
The most important thing with batteries is not figuring out to do with them (since in our age of electronica, everyone has gadgets galore), but disposing of them safely. This recycling locator can tell you the nearest place to get rid of old shells so they don’t leach acid into landfills and waterways.