If you are a resident of New Jersey, New York City/Westchester County/Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, you need to drop what you’re doing and get prepared for Hurricane Irene. Now.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and Hurricane Irene will veer out to sea. However, the current forecast track map puts Irene directly over the New York metropolitan area on Sunday. Unfortunately, there is no reason to think that Irene will veer away; the recent forecast maps have moved Irene toward the west rather than the east.
Hurricanes don’t strike New York City often, and I suspect residents of the Big Apple think this might be just another storm. The effects, though, of a direct hurricane strike might be truly horrifying: Flooding the subway system for weeks to months, devastation along the Long Island shore, flooding in lower Manhattan, millions without power, etc.
If you reside in a low-lying flood-prone area in the Northeast threatened by Irene, consider taking action today. The moment that government authorities announce possible evacuations, people will panic. Buy your supplies now. The National Hurricane Center has links to preparedness guides.
Again, I am hopeful I’ll be looked at in a week as a fear-monger. I just remember the last time I saw such a map, and the disaster that occurred (Katrina). I also remember a saying from my mother: Better safe than sorry.
National Hurricane Center (Irene Home Page)
Dr. Jeff Masters’ Blog
Ryan Maue’s Twitter Feed
Brendan Loy’s Blog
And, most importantly, your local office of emergency preparedness.
Hopefully, my writing this post is much ado about nothing. I just don’t like what I’m seeing on the maps.