(Jose Luis Magaua / Reuters)

For those in the Southeast, hurricane parties have become a tradition each hurricane season. But, many in the Northeast have never experienced a storm of this magnitude before; if Hurricane Irene is your first big storm, here are a few tips to throw the perfect (safe!) hurricane party for you and your friends.

First of all, you want your hurricane party to reduce stress and keep everyone occupied and safe before and during the storm. Hurricanes last for several hours and you might be without power for hours - perhaps even days. Make sure you have plenty of things to do to pass the time. Hurricane parties should be fun, yet safe. Here are some ideas to turn Hurricane Irene into an extended indoor camp out with all your friends.

The house:

Make sure party central has plenty of room for at least 10 people to stay comfortably (probably overnight) and has followed proper safety precautions like boarding up windows, stocking up on non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights, candles and matches, trash bags, a radio and a hurricane safety kit.

The guests:

Only invite people you can stand to be around for more than one day, as you may end up having to host guests for an extended period, depending on the storm.

Guests should also bring over their own sleeping bag and enough clean clothes for a few nights.

In exchange for a place to stay and party, guests are often expected to contribute supplies. They should bring over extra water, blankets, safety kits, radios, batteries, any perishable or frozen food, games and alcohol.

The food:

No party would be complete without food, but this menu can't require cooking, refrigeration or freezing.

Instruct everyone coming to ''clean out the freezer, as many homes in the area may lose power at some point. There is no reason for all that food to go to waste. Eat the items that will spoil quickly when the power goes out or need to be cooked like pasta or soup, and save the food in the pantry for later.

Break out the grill- bring over frozen meat and cook it up before the storm hits. Remember, frozen meat stays frozen for up to thee days and can act as ice packs for other frozen food.

Canned spam, canned beans, cereals, and any nonperishable, prepackaged foods like crackers, cookies, nuts and peanut butter, beef jerky and bread will all be good to stock up on.

The Drinks:

Drink the milk first! After that, make sure to stock up on plenty of bottled water, but you can also bring juice boxes (if there are kids) bottled iced teas or Gatorade.

And, don't forget the most important drink, hurricanes!

Hurricane Recipe:

1 oz vodka

1/4 oz grenadine

1 oz gin

1 oz light rum

1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum

1 oz amaretto almond liqueur

1 oz triple sec

grapefruit juice

pineapple juice


Fill a hurricane (or any other tall glass) 3/4 full with ice.

Pour all the alcohols in first, then follow with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice.

Serve and enjoy! (For those not drinking alcohol, you can use sprite and orange).

If you are planning on drinking, don't drink everything the first night for many reasons:

1. Hangovers and a limited supply of water don't mix well.

2. Puking in a confined space with 10 other people doesn't inspire friendly feelings.

3. What else are you going to do for the rest of the time (there are only so many games of sober monopoly you can play!).

If you do decide to drink, make sure you have a sober friend. Putting yourself in mortal peril always seems less dangerous when you're drunk.

NOAA handout satellite image of Hurricane Irene (Ho New / Reuters)

The Music:

For those of you with a dark sense of humor, create a hurricane play mix with these classic songs:

Scoripans- Rock You Like a Hurricane

Bob Dylan- Hurricane

Bob Dylan- Shelter from the Storm

Jonny Cash- Blowin' in the Wind

Led zeppelin- When the Levy Breaks

Florence and the Machine- Hurricane Drunk

The Beetles- Rain

Blackalicious- Sky Is Falling

Alice Cooper- Hurricane Years

Bruce Springsteen- Lost In The Flood

Buddy Guy- Feels Like Rain

Eye Of The Hurricane - Blue Oyster Cult

The Kinks- One Of The Survivors

The games:

Chances are you'll be stuck here for more than a few hours, so be sure to bring a stack of non-electronic entertainment to keep you occupied for a while.

Games like Twister, Life, Monopoly, RISK, poker, euchre, Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, hide and seek (if you have kids) or anything that takes longer than 10 minutes to play will be best for passing the time and keeping people from going stir crazy.


As much fun as it is to throw a party, remember the seriousness of the situation.

Check in with family and friends not in the hurricane zone often, or until you lose power. Even then, try to stay in touch with cell phones, though reception may be dodgy.

Choose the AM radio to listen for updates as the signal is much stronger and less regional than FM stations. Keep the radio on at all times for continuous weather and evacuation updates, and bring extra batteries.

It is not advised to stay in town and ride out a hurricane that is more than a category 2. These storms can be powerful and destructive and getting stranded for weeks without electricity or water is no fun at all.

Have fun! More importantly, be safe!