Friday, August 26, 2011

Calm Before the Storm

Official hurricane flag.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the US East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Irene. The drama for this natural occurrence is quite high around these parts. Of course we should all be aware, keep watch and prepare for it, but people were flocking to the grocery stores and gas stations before a track had been made official (and while they have a better idea of where the storm will hit, there is still no definite information). Some gas stations have run out of gas. There was no bread in the grocery store this morning. Batteries are all but extinct.

I don’t think we’re facing anything like Hurricane Katrina, but here on Long Island, hurricanes are a definite threat, mainly because we are an island jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Our beaches have eroded quite a bit, and any big storm can cause a lot of flooding and even more beach erosion. In addition, downed trees and loss of electricity can be a problem for anyone.

When forecasters noticed that Hurricane Irene was headed up the east coast, they were worried—for North Carolina’s Outer Banks (which is taking the brunt of this storm), New Jersey’s shoreline, and Long Island. They were saying that this storm could be catastrophic, comparing it to the historic Hurricane of 1938. I don’t know much about its impact in other areas, but I can tell you that it was devastating for Long Island’s East End. From what I understand, however, this storm was so devastating because no one was prepared for it. No one knew it was coming.

Not quite the case with this weekend’s storm. They have downgraded the storm’s intensity, at least for Long Island, though we are currently in a Flood Watch and a Hurricane Watch, both of which will probably be upgraded to warnings by tomorrow night. By the looks of things, we will experience a category 1 hurricane, less severe than 1985’s Hurricane Gloria. I remember Gloria, though not with any detail. I remember that we were evacuated to the local high school because of extreme wind gusts and possible flooding. We had a lot of trees that came down and we were without electricity for quite some time. So while the likelihood that this storm will cause any catastrophic damage is small, there is the potential of damaging winds and loss of electricity for a few days—whether or not it happens, only time will tell. If wind gusts get too high, they might evacuate some areas of the island (though no one has said this specifically).

With all this uncertainty, what’s a well-planned life to do?

Make lists and prepare!

My Compact Chameleon has been my best friend in the last 24 hours. Together we created a list of what must be done to prepare.

Hurricane-ready list

The documents section is a list of items I have collected and put into one bag. The most important documents are a copy of our homeowners insurance policy (because—and don’t ask me why, it’s general practice—if it gets destroyed we are out of luck, even though the company has a copy—insurance!), wills, living wills, health care proxies and the like (and for anyone who doesn’t already have these documents drawn up, I can’t tell you how important they are for anyone, but especially if you have children). The likelihood that I will need any of this is small. However, if the weather does get that bad and we do need to evacuate, everything is together in one place. I can just grab the bag and go!

The to-do section is all the things that we need to do to prepare for the storm. The main thing is to bring in all outside furniture and accessories. Of course, I also had to get food (today was my normal shopping day anyway but I went super early to avoid the crowds, armed with my Starbucks cup). Thankfully, I was able to get the essentials.

The only thing missing is bacon.

Ooops! I meant to show you these essentials.

Canned goods are the best hurricane options.

We also have a case of bottled water, but we always have that on hand. I also have to fill my car with gas. I’m working tomorrow so that will be done at some point during the day. Hopefully I don’t have any problems getting it.

So here I am, with an entire empty day! What shall I do? We have movies we could watch. I have books to read. We have cards to play. And if the electricity stays on, I can maybe even write a few Philofaxy All Stars posts I’ve been neglecting for about two weeks. I was hoping to also be able to fill in my 2012 refills, but alas, my local retailer still doesn’t have them. Oh well. It looks like I’ll be ordering my refills from Filofax USA. My friend did offer to go in together on an order, though, so we’ll split the shipping costs.

Have a great weekend, my friends. And for those of you in the path of Hurricane Irene, stay safe. I’ll see everyone on the other side.

5 comments:

  1. batten down the hatches! secure your Filofaxes! Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! Yes, all of my Filos are together, in a safe, dry place on the second floor. If things get that bad we'll all quiver together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the first "essentials" pic sums it up nicely. Guess you should have bought some canned bacon... ;) So glad you were underwhelmed by the storm.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sandra, I have bacon bits in a bottle. Does that count?

    ReplyDelete