Rock You Like Irene’s About To

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August 26, 2011 by Darlene McC

Unless you’ve been indulging in a 48 hour Battlestar Galactica binge you probably already know that Hurricane Irene is-a-coming and she’s going to clip New York City on the way by.  Yup, we’re getting an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week!  I know, I know… NYC gets everything all the time.  Just one of the benefits of being here.

Well, fortunately, the city got a little egg on its face back in December and is being incredibly communicative and pro-active; but there’s a lot to know, not a lot of time, and a lot of different situations that come up in a sprawling urban metropolis like our fair Gotham.  What’s an urban amazon to do?

Well, for starters, figure out if you’re flood prone!  Know if you’re in an area that’s likely to flood by checking this handy map from NYC Office of Emergency Management.  Right now they’re only really worried about the areas marked in Orange on the map; but if you’re in the yellow or green and the storm hits harder than expected you could be affected.

Next decide with your family what you’re going to do.  Even if you’re not in the flood zone if you aren’t the type of person that can survive 5 days on Easy Mac without a bath maybe you should consider hopping a train to grandma (and I wonder why you’d be reading this blog… but that’s just me).  If you’re not in a flood zone you can just shelter in your home.

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Okay, so you’re going to stay put.  Welcome!  Now, make a plan.  The city has a few tips on what to have at the ready and what to have packed in a bag in case you’re asked to evacuate.  But how about a few things you may not have thought of:

  • Tell your out of town family your plan! – if cell service and inter-webs are knocked out for a few days you wont be able to tell them where you are and that you’re okay.  Make sure they know your plan ahead of time (and your address)
  • Fill the tub with water – if the power goes out the pumps will stop working and you wont be able to pump up enough water to flush the toilet.  You can pour it into the tank from the tub so you can flush… you can also take a little sponge bath if the power goes out for a few days.
  • Remember your pets – when considering water and if you’ll need extra food and litter
  • Look around your home – this morning we realized: the window next to our bed leeks a little even when it’s just a small storm… we’re going to need to move our bed so it doesn’t get swamped tomorrow.  Any weird little things like that in your apartment?  What about outside?  If we have 90+MPH winds are their things in your yard that could smash your windows or get picked up and slammed into your car?  Maybe tie them down or put them in the basement.
  • Go Get Cash – the ATMs aren’t going to work if the power is out and you’ll want to get more pop tarts after all that stress eating
  • Candles, Flashlight, Bored games, a good book, charge your kindle, charge your phone.  There are a lot of little common sense things that come up when you pause for a moment and consider them.  If your power is out for 4 days and the subway isn’t running what will you need to take care of yourself.
  • Make sure your food isn’t perishable – buying milk tomorrow morning would be dumb if the power goes out.  Oatmeal = good idea.
  • Buy gallon jugs of water instead of bottled – bottled is a waste of space and plastic.
They’re talking about shutting down the subway tomorrow “8 hours before we reach 35 MPH winds” – that will probably be Saturday afternoon.  Just make sure you’re in your own neighborhood before they do.
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