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#230420 - 08/24/11 11:52 AM Irene
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 263
Loc: New York
OK folks, so it looks like Hurricane Irene is coming my way. Here's the current track data from the National Hurricane Center, with NYC / Eastern Long Island marked with a red circle.

The water is pretty warm up here right now, so if the storm is still organized when it gets back over water after North Carolina, I fear it could remain strong by the time it gets to me.

I live on a barrier island off the coast of Long Island, just south of JFK airport. I know some people who stayed put during Hurricane Gloria years ago, and the island was innundated in several places with the ocean and bay meeting. With two young kids, I'm not willing to take chances like that.

DW and I have made our bug-out plans. I'm going to start packing today. Friday we head into NYC. If it looks really bad, DW and the kids will continue on to the Catskills with her parents, while I stay in NYC so I can try to get back ASAP after the storm to mitigate whatever damage I can. If it's looking like a category 1 or 2, we'll all stay in the city to ride it out. Looks like I may be spending Friday moving things up to the second floor of the house, and putting up plywood before we go.

I'm sure my neighbors will think I'm over-reacting on Friday, when the weather is still supposed to be quite nice. I know my friends who surf are looking forward to the storm's approach!

What are other people in the NYC area planning? Any suggestions?
A blog about adventure
in and around New York

#230422 - 08/24/11 12:27 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Sounds like a good idea to prepare for the New York Hurricane Irene as it is also looking like the Hurricane will hit during the high tide as well.

For Coney Island Aug 28th High 7:51 PM 6.2m

If there is few thing about New York and Hurricanes, they are;

1) 'It can't happen in New York' is the general viewpoint much like Earthquakes.

2) Most aren't aware of the Worse case scenario for flooding extent during a major Hurricane.


3) There is very little time to prepare before the hurricane Track firms up due to the ground speed of the hurricane.

4) Getting out of New York if a major evacuation is required (>2 million low lying folks) is announced (see 3) makes it virtually impossible to get out, which is why the authorities will never issue a Houston or New Orleans mandatory evacuation.

Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (08/24/11 12:47 PM)

#230425 - 08/24/11 12:39 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3009
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Jesselp
What are other people in the NYC area planning? Any suggestions?

Confirm that your insurance is paid up and that you're not missing any needed coverage? Back up data and remove anything irreplaceable like photographs or difficult to replace like important documents? Arrange backup power for sump pumps?

#230439 - 08/24/11 03:12 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2376

#230440 - 08/24/11 03:24 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
It sounds like you're using your common sense. Good luck with your plans and I hope it doesn't ruin your place.

And it doesn't matter if the others think you're over-reacting -- what's the big deal of leaving and then going back? 'Ell's bells, you'd do that to deliver your kids to a birthday party!

What's the main drawback, that you all return safe and uninjured?


#230442 - 08/24/11 03:36 PM Re: Irene [Re: TeacherRO]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO

Hey, pretty tool.

I'm driving to New York this weekend, actually. Not too worried about the hurricane, since no natural phenomenon in its right mind would go through the toll roads around there. I've also never managed to figure out the New Jersey jughandle, and I'm smarter than a storm. I am packing my kit, though. Seems like I'll have to add my scuba gear just in case.

Seriously, I'll throwing some more food in my kit in case I get stranded. Better rain gear than the default poncho. In general I'll pay attention to the radio and play it safe. Err on the side of cowardice if necessary. Anything else?


#230447 - 08/24/11 03:55 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
if you are putting up plywood... PlyLocs work pretty well for inset masonary windows, just have to get good measurements ...if you are screwing to wood frame use the #25 TorX headed deck screws, as they are easier to remove...if you have time, put a coat of paint on the plywood, especially the edges...mark the location before you remove...shut off water,gas, pull breaker on the power...take a good video inventory of anything you don't take with you...would suggest good amount of cash as disabled phone junction boxes interrupt credit transactions...good rain gear and a couple of towels, LED headlamp for everyone...if you are not used to flooding and working in wet shoes, have a way(Teva sandals/shower flip flops)to allow your feet to dry when possible...good luck

#230453 - 08/24/11 04:36 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
FWIW, I have my mind already made up on hurricanes and other slow moving natural disasters, and that's to get my family out of the way of any that could put our shelter in danger or under water. If you have parents in the Catskills this is a great weekend to take the kids to see grandma and grandpa, you'll still have a storm to ride out there but you'll be playing Parcheesi in the light rather than listening to the roof come off in the dark. If the area you live in has a history of flooding, I recommend boarding up and getting out. Storms vary in intensity and storm surge, so its very difficult to assess whether to stay based on the last storm you or anyone remembers. Severe weather operate on longer time scales, with effects that may only occur every 300-500 years, before most any recorded habitation in your area. If there's recorded history and effects from the last category 2 then you can assess your house's survivability, but the fact that you're there during the actual storm really won't make any difference to the damage that may be done.

And consider leaving earlier than the anticipated landfall. Hurricane Rita is an object lesson in late movers and how they clog evacuation routes - and that was in a region of the country more accustomed to hurricanes.

Houses, contents - those are things. If you value them, pay insurance. Move precious items out of harm's way if you have time. Family, kids - those are the things that matter.

Good luck!

#230457 - 08/24/11 05:47 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
We have a little cottage on Chincoteague Island, VA which might receive some of the more intense tidal action. Currently, we have couple of friends staying there until Thursday night and we were supposed to have another friend head there Thursday night and stay through Sunday night. We have advised her it might be better not to go, which will be a non issue if they have a mandatory evacuation. Other than turning off the water and electricity, putting the beach chairs and bikes inside the house we really donít have any plans for any additional preparation. We will ask one of the neighbors to check on the house after the storm and let us know if we have to head down the following weekend for any repairs.

Here in Frederick, we should be fine with home preparations.

Our team has been placed on pre-alert (resource availability and equipment preparation), somewhat for local events, but more for possible mutual aid to the eastern shore of Maryland. The state OEM is updating with daily briefing, so we should know a little more tomorrow.


#230459 - 08/24/11 06:03 PM Re: Irene [Re: Jesselp]
NuggetHoarder Offline

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
good advice so far, especially about shutting off utilities at the main switch for each utility you have.

I would add that you should carry a couple recent electric bills with you with your name and address. It's not enough to have just a driver's license. There are circumstances where you could encounter roadblocks into your neighborhood and you don't want to hand out your driver's license to a soldier or other non-policeman if you don't have to. Much better to try to use an electric bill first and keep your license in your pocket.

Cash is king. Get a bunch. Be prepared to buy your way out of trouble if it arises. Keep the money spread out on your person so you don't have to flash the whole wad.

Don't let your gas tank get below half. Fill it up wherever possible. Credit cards and gas pumps don't work in a power failure. Carry a siphon.

Communication is important. Find a relative that is far from the storm's path to act as your "trip coordinator" since you will be separated from your wife. The coordinator can serve as a go between and message gatherer and also provide you with news, weather, routes, and other information. Give the coordinator all the details of you, your vehicle, and your plan before you leave and then work your plan and let the coordinator know of any changes as you go. Have a backup plan if the coordinator can't be contacted - namely, designate a church or other place to meet up with your wife at a certain day and time (assuming your house is completely destroyed and cannot be accessed).

The two most desired things after a hurricane are generators and ice. Plan accordingly.

Finally, stay safe. If you arrive at your damaged home with your wife and kids - sit them down and tell them that the number one thing is to NOT get injured. An injury like a nail through the foot or hand will cause your entire party to have to stop everything and address the injury and definitive care will not be a few minutes away like it used to be. Number one is DON'T GET INJURED. Go slow, think about each action - even little things like a child accidentally drinking water from a tap. Watch for nails and glass - hazards will be everywhere.

Good luck to you and your family and I wish you the best.

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