Hurricane Preparedness: Irene is Coming (or Maybe She's Already Here)

I got up at 5:30am today to drive non-stop from Burlington, Vermont to New York City -- we wanted to be sure we got back in the event of bridge closings and such, particularly now that no one wants to be in a "Katrina-esque" situation again. Hence NYC mass transit has been curtailed, 370K people are in a mandatory evacuation situation in certain parts of the city, and virtually all stores (including all-important grocery stores) have been closed.

Being prepared is key. If you have to drive, please review this list, provided by AAA of New York. It's serious business:

If you must drive:

  • Pack an emergency travel kit designed to sruvive extended traffic delays or road closures. The kit should include water, food for all travelers and pets, extra clothing and blankets, fully charged cell phones, battery-operated NOAA weather radio, extra batteries and extra medications.

  • Be sure to have a full tank of gas

  • Never drive through high water or flooded areas

  • Be aware of fallen trees, limbs, and downed power lines

If you must travel:

  • Stay abreast of local forecasts both at your departure city and at your destination

  • Check your airline flight status before leaving for the airport

  • Check with your hotel for local updates on thes torm's impact

  • Monitor weather conditions on a regular basis as things can change quickly

  • Travel with only a carry-on bag when flying. This will give you greater flexibiltiy if your scheudle changes and you have your luggage with you, if you are delayed

  • Pack "emergency" comforts with you like snacks, raincoats, and extra clothing. A flashlight with good batteries, radio, and extra water are essential.

  • Heed all evacuation advisorires and/or orders

If you must evacuate:

  • In case of evacuation, plan NOW where you will go and have the plan in place where your family members will meet to evacuates

  • Know multiple routes to your destination

  • Secure your home the best you can

  • Top off your car's gas tank before the storm

  • Have a print-out of all important phone numbers

  • Have your "go" bag ready with all essentials: clothing, first-aid kit, meds, etc. Have at least three days' worth of mecications and supplies with you

  • Have canned foods and energy/vitamins bars with you

  • Have flashlights and extra batteries

  • Have a portable raido, monitor the advisories, and be prepared for anything

  • Have cash on hand, as ATMs and banks may not be accessible

  • Have protective clothing, rain gear, blankets or sleeping bags

We've been evacuated from the Outer Banks (North Carolina) twice and we acknowledge this list from our own experience. Be prepared -- this may turn into an adventure, and you want it to end happily.

Stay safe.


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