Friday, August 26, 2011

The Gathering Storm

I live on the island of Manhattan, New York City. We get heat waves in the summer, snow storms in the winter. But earthquakes and hurricanes? Pretty darn rare. However, we're ticking off both of those weather boxes this week. Tuesday's earthquake? Meh. The approaching hurricane lovingly named Irene? Mamma mia!

It looks like Miss Irene is heading straight for the World's Biggest Apple. There are mandatory evacuations of hospitals and residents in low-lying areas. The entire public transport system shuts down at noon tomorrow. (So if you're leaving, you'd better get going.) Most Broadway shows have been cancelled Saturday and Sunday. (OK, now things are getting critical.) And if you have the urge to do a little gambling in Atlantic City? Fuggitabahtit. Everything's closed.

My fifth-floor apartment is located just inside Hurricane Zone B. I've never had to gear up for a hurricane, though I've had to get ready for a lot of tornadoes over the years. However, I'm not particularly worried. I'm a mother and a Girl Scout. I've been a PTA president and a television producer. "Prepared" is my middle name (except legally, it's Frances). Anyway.

My biggest fear is losing electrical power and/or water. No. Wait. My biggest fear is loss of life and property. Then my biggest fear is losing power and water. And maybe having the windows blow in on me. But I promise to stay away from those.

But Shorty "Prepared" PJs has plenty of water, non-perishable food stuff (bread, peanut butter, fruit, etc.), flashlight/batteries, candles/matches. I have a land-line phone. (I know! But don't you wish you had one now?) I will keep my BlackBerry, netbook, and iPod plugged in and charging until the power goes, and hope against hope that my little techno-toys maintain power throughout any outage.

My Kindle's clip-on light should allow me to read, whether the power's off or on. (No complaints, there.) Our landlord has asked residents to fill our bathtubs in case we need the extra water for flushing toilets. So I'll do that tomorrow evening. In short, whatever the officials advise me to do, I will do. Plus, anything else I think will keep me safe and comfortable.

This sort of event is where social media shines. Following friends via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs will keep everyone up-to-date minute-by-minute on the emergency and its effects. At the very least it will let friends and family know who's safe or who needs help. Should be an interesting weekend up here.

I can't do a thing about the weather, but I can prepare as best I can. And not be stupid as the wind and rain blow across this island.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your keeping us updated!