The storm approaches. Black clouds race low in the sky in advance of the tropical maelstrom. I’ve stockpiled the cigars, the wine, the imported cheese and lean bacon from a local farm. I have fully powered up my laptop, my cellphone, my BlackBerry, my camera battery, and have cranked the AC to the point that ice is forming on the inside of the windows. The children huddle beneath blankets and are begging to start a fire in the hearth. We have to refrigerate the house in advance of the power outages that the power company has already promised. The power company wants to get out in front of the public-relations debacle that is about to ensue, and is thus calling our homes with robotic messages saying You Will Lose Power For a Month. Managing expectations, that’s what it’s all about.

But I SHALL survive. I shall survive Hurricane Irene even if I have to burn my last scented candle, or navigate the basement pantry with only the light of party-favor glowsticks or lightning bugs captured in jars.

I’ve parked lawn furniture in the garage and covered my Big Green Egg with its protective tarp. The Egg is a type of grill. In the old days we had just the Weber, but we’ve upgraded to this giant, heavy, ceramic oven that has the special virtue of being able to cook food extremely slowly. You can grill a burger in 4 hours. You can serve a hot dog to your guests and say: I’ve been cooking this since last Tuesday.

And while the Weber, or at least its lid, could conceivably go airborne in a tempest, the Egg is built to survive an F-5 tornado. The house will be flattened but the Egg will remain at its station, still slow-cooking a boneless chicken breast even after the neighborhood has become uninhabitable.

Bring it on, Irene. But give me another hour to make a final run to the store for olives and hummus.