After an earthquake earlier this week, we’re also facing down a hurricane that is scheduled to hit NYC on Sunday. Unlike the earthquake, we know it’s coming. This has two aspects.
1. it allows people (and the city) to prepare.
2. it gives people time to say and do incredibly stupid things.
So far, the preparations seem to be going apace. The city has A Plan, which includes evacuation plans for the low-lying areas that are likely to get badly hit, and making sure that hospitals and services for the elderly/infirm are ready for all possible contingencies. I’m not always a fan of our mini-mayor* but so far he’s on top of things (as is, for once in his career, NJ’s governor Christie). State of Emergency’s been declared for NY, NJ and CT, I believe, to allow for emergency responses/funds, and I know that the Coast Guard’s working their tails off this weekend. Everyone is treating Irene with the respect due. Not panic – there’s no reason for panic – but a cautious, careful respect. And, as Bloomberg said in his press conference, hopefully the question that will be asked is ‘what were you doing on the day you DIDN’T have to evacuate?”
(For those of you who’ve never been here, NYC is, for the most part, a series of islands along a curve in the Atlantic coastline. Mostly flat islands, much of it barely above sea level. )
So, yeah. Prep for the worst, hope for the best. Irene looks bad (and they’re saying now she’ll intensify again before landfall in the Carolinas tomorrow) but we know how to deal with coastal storms, be they rain or snow.
Me? I’m in a high-lying area (relatively speaking), and our building is sturdy as hell (a friend who is a structural engineer has said “I’d hug your building if I could” it’s that well-built.) But I’m being cautious, too. I have my emergency kit (2 flashlights w/ fresh batteries, bottled water, dry soap, protein bars, etc) and my medical kit, and enough pre-cooked or non-perishable foods to last me several days if power goes out. I even have a pot of coffee brewing to turn into iced coffee, so I don’t get a caffeine headache if power does go out. Cat food and litter is laid in, and all the laundry’s been done. Oh, and the booze is laid in too, yeah.
I’ve also charged everything that can be charged (iPod, laptop, phone, Nook), printed out a copy of the WiP just in case, and piled up a mini TBR stack of books. My plan for the weekend is to hunker down, stay indoors, and let Irene pass over me.
Most folk have similar plans. Most, but not all.
Although I haven’t seen any of the notorious runs on TP and milk we tend to indulge in during blizzards** I’m hearing that some people are starting to panic over the fact that here may not be any mass transit on Sunday. Yes, the city has plans to shut everything down, if need be. When you’re looking at potential 70+ hour winds (not gusts: winds) then you don’t run trains that are only rated for 30pmh winds. Where were you planning to go in the middle of a hurricane, anyway?
Apparently, some folk are planning rooftop hurricane parties. I wish I were kidding. Y’know that scene in Independence Day, when all the New Age revelers stare in awe as the mothership comes down to their rooftop party and… eradicates them? Yeah. Like that.
I hope the Darwin Award people are taking notes.
The rest of you, if you’re in Irene’s path? Stay dry and safe, and I’ll see ya on the other side….
*Bloomberg is, um, not a tall man. Diane Saywer once referred to him as a “munchkin.” Of course, he’s still 2″ taller than I am….
**when, to be fair, we can get snowed in for a day or two after the storm passes, and you will need TP after a while, especially of you have a household of kids!