As of writing this Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit Long Island starting mid-day tomorrow (Saturday) and last through at least Sunday evening. I’m writing and queuing this for posting on Friday since I don’t know if I’ll have power or internet when it comes.
Opinion various but the main two forecasts show the storm either coming straight across Long Island, literally right through my front yard! Or, steering a little to the West of New York City but still blowing hard and dumping lots of rain all around. Predications call for it to be anything from a tropical storm to a category 3 hurricane when it gets here.
Mayor Bloomberg has issued a “request” (not mandatory, yet)for evacuation from the lower lying areas of the city. And the state Parks Department has issued a mandatory evacuation for the Fire Island towns. That’s not uncommon even for a nor’easter storm.
And at this moment Southside Hospital in Bay Shore is being evacuated as well as new warnings and urges to evacuate in Nassau County.
Nothing can be done about the weather.
It’s been a very long time since the last hurricane hit New York City and Long Island. We get nor’easters every year and we did get a mini-hurricane two years ago in the sprint (winds about 80 mph with is a Cat 1) though it wasn’t labeled a hurricane.
But this is why you prep!
I feel very good about my preps heading into the storm. Sure I could have/should have done more. But nothing I can do about it now.
But by comparison to others I am waaaaaaay a head of the curve!
I went to Costco yesterday at noon to get a few last minute items. It was a zoo. Not unruly but very crowded.
No ‘D’ batteries.
No paper towels.
And no generators.
(Side note: To the point of inflation, a cut of meat Costco sells called “flap meat” started as a cheap cut but now is $6.29/pound!! Even London Broil was only $3.99/pound!)
To the latter, I overheard two guys arguing with a store employee about why don’t they have any generators! The employee said they might get a few tomorrow (today) but can’t guarantee it. The two guys were very angry. Idiots! What the heck did they expect two days before a hurricane? Why didn’t they buy a genie months or even years ago?
That reason is simple: We haven’t had the need for one for the most part in years.
I don’t blame people either. I don’t have a generator. That’s a debate my wife and I have had for many years. It’s true that a good sized genie is expensive. Then there’s the cost and issues of storage of fuel. There is OPSEC to consider. And the practical consideration of having a unit large enough for basic needs (refrigerator, freezer, heat etc) yet not be a monster unit.
That evening I stopped at a local supermarket on the way home. Milk was almost gone as were eggs, OJ and cheese. About half the produce was gone and what was left was in poor shape. Bread, meat and canned goods were still plentiful though.
Spoke to a friend this morning. She said she tried to go to the supermarket yesterday for supplies. Couldn’t find any bottled water or flashlights. Then she asked what kind of supplies she should get. No clue! I told her canned soup, fruits and veggies, chicken and tuna. She thought that was a great idea. I also told her to fill up on gas and get some extra cash from the bank. She hadn’t even thought about that!
At work today a co-worker said she went to the local Target store yesterday. They were out of bottled water, flash lights and ‘D’ batteries too. Then she went to the local Ace Hardware. The line was out the door. She didn’t even bother trying to go in.
And a manager I work with has to rush around today to get his car’s tire patched instead of taking care of it weeks ago.
I just went to the Radio Shack near my office. They were out of all the crank style emergency radios. I did get a small AM/FM. I have a marine radio that gets NOAA so that should be good enough for now. But they still did have ‘D’ batteries.
Well, this is going to be interesting. At a minimum it will be a good test of my preparation. So far I think I’m doing very well. I’m short in the areas I know about anyway and those that for family issues (i.e. the little lady) are a tough sell. But everything else seems to be falling into place well. I am very proud of my work on this and hope none is necessary.
See you on the other side.
Here in coastal Virginia, we go “on alert” at least once or twice a hurricane season so I am usually prepared at the beginning of hurricane season. I can recognize that an area unused to storms like this to be unsure what to do. What has always amazed me is that people stock up on eggs and milk when they buy their water and batteries. A person is more likely than not to lose power and the milk and eggs will just spoil. Canned food as you suggested to your friend was a much better idea. Plus you end up cooking all the stuff in the freezer that is thawing unless you are fortunate enough to own a generator. We are also considering buying one.
When searching for batteries, duct tape and generators, try the little mom and pop hardware stores. A lot of folks don’t think of going there during an emergency(instead going to Lowes, Home Depot or Ace) and they usually don’t run out as soon. I actually buy my hurricane supply batteries from Dollar Tree. But they run out early.
We came through the storm in my city much better than other areas. The track kept the worst of it off us thankfully.
I hope you came through it with no problems as well.
A generator is nice to have, and sometimes it’s a life saver. But the noise is pretty bad and it does give your position away for miles around. I’ve got one but usually I don’t use it unless the outage goes on for quite some time.
I don’t have a hidden “position” as I live in a city on a corner with homes about 15 ft apart from one another. Now if I lived in the country, with a different kind of SHTF scenario, then I might be concerned. About every 3rd house in my neighborhood was running a generator.
Ok, so there was a lot of hype, but even so it was only a hurricane, a regular enough event that most adults have lived through before. We know the storm will last 3 days at most, the aftermath no more than a few weeks, any yet most grocery stores were full of fearful if not panicked shoppers. One of the perks of being a prepper was walking into that store for just one item that I really didn’t need! How much worse would it be in a real disaster? In my town I got what I believe was the last packs (going to a smaller shop is good advice!) of duracell D batteries after finding two flashlights dead and no back up Ds (what kind of a prepper am I?), imagine what it would have been like to buy everything I need for just two weeks if I wasn’t prepared and if it were a more serious event and we had much less forewarning? Irene was reason enough to justify my prepping!
It does feel good to be a prepper… Aside from a couple of holes in my preps, I felt pretty good about the situation getting worse than it had. I was prepared for the most part. Augmenting a couple of items upon the paycheck arrival this week and should be good to go…
Definately felt good to go through the supermarket even on Saturday and be happy NOT to need most of the things on the shelves!
I love the false sense of entitlement that people have … getting angry that the store runs out of generators before a hurricane.
Welcome to NJ, Martin. 😉
Interestingly, I was at Harbor freight in North Bergen, NJ. It is a fairly new store there. They had a ton of generators of all sizes. I expected them to be sold out when I got there, but they had a good number of various sizes in stock. However, I did buy the last 15W solar panel they had. They also only had three 45 watt solar systems left in stock when I was there.
It seems either solar was a much more popular item or they really stocked up on generators prior to the hurricane.
At this moment Harbor has a 500 watt 2 cycle genie for $89. Would be good for a sump pump, battery charger, or an at-home medical device.
I might get one as a gift for someone I know who has a medical device and would need it.