If you have ears, then you probably have already heard Hurricane Irene is headed to the East Coast. I have taken a quick break from the anxiety-induced emotional eating I have been doing in preparation to tell you how much it’ll probably cost you.

If you haven’t gone to the store to stock up on non-perishables WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Stop reading this column now and go do that — okay, don’t actually stop, maybe just load it onto your phone while you go.

Stores started reporting shortages late in the week as many have been scrambling to prepare themselves. Irene is already expected to cause over $13 billion in damages. You don’t need me to tell you how to be prepared, but is your budget prepared? Here are some approximations of costs to expect when getting ready for Irene or any other hurricanes in your future.

Gettin’ Groceries: $57.09

By scoping out the (virtual aisles) of an online grocery store I was able to add the cost of my approximate grocery bill. After I’m done with this column I plan to pick up cereal, canned foods, granola bars, nuts along with other non-perishable items which will run me around $60, this is pretty close to my bi-weekly grocery bill. If you are a big snacker and don’t live in an apartment the size of a closet your bill will probably be closer to $70.

Special tip: If you can, go shopping with some friends and buy in bulk: it’ll be cheaper. ALSO consider foods you would want to take with you in a go bag.

This and That: $67.57

As if my wallet wasn’t already hurting from the food, I realized there are some essentials that I was missing. I calculated the costs of flashlights, duct tape, batteries, candles and other storm survival items. I also tacked on garbage bags, paper plates and other utensils just in case the we dont have water.

Special tip: Check out what amazon.com has in its go bag for ideas of what you’ll need.

Grab Some Cash: $200-$300

Having cash on you is really important in these types of situations because you don’t know whether or not the banks and ATMs will be working. Chances are, once things have settled you will definitely need to make some purchases.

Special tip: Don’t forget to put some cash in your go bag.

Hurricane Survival Grand Total: $324.66

Ugh, Irene is lame. Although I am generally frugal and don’t buy something unless I absolutely need it, in this case, I would much rather be over prepared. From the looks of it, this is going to be one long weekend. No transit, evacuation warnings, hurricanes…I’d better be able to access my Netflix.

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