Friday, August 26th, 2011

Brooklyn's Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

Although we're currently only at a 30% chance of sustained winds in excess of 58 miles per hour in Brooklyn, and the weather forecast for the 11211 currently only says "gusts up to 85 mph" for Sunday, it's still not a terrible idea to be prepared. Some thoughts for you!

A device that creates light. As you likely know, the light in your home comes from "electricity." In Brooklyn, much of your electric comes into your townhouse by way of above-ground electrical lines. (You can call your contractor and ask about this if you like; he won't return your call.) Those lines are often disturbed in high winds, due to trees and such. So it might be worthwhile to get a battery-powered lamp or some such, like a flashlight even. N.B. If you order a cute little electric generator on Amazon it will not arrive prior to the storm, no matter how much you yell at Fedex. Pro tip: fire can also be used to create light. (Use sparingly.)

A hard-sided cat carrier. Not just for cats anymore! Should you need to transport your baby in the storm, your natural-cloth Baby Bjorn carrier is not going to protect little Chavley, Simon or Clementine against the elements. Stuff that kiddo in a cat carrier and he'll be as safe as can be. (Bonus: floats a bit.)

• Did you also know that the internet in your house is powered locally by electricity? It's not impossible that you could be without the internet this weekend. That also means Netflix and even television, if you still watch that. (It also likely means a lack of VOIP phone service.) Prepare for the weekend and its aftermath with "paper books" and even board games. (Try a deck of cards, yes.)

Food. There will likely be no delivery of food to your home, and you may be forced to create or assemble edibles yourself. If you go to your fridge right now and you see eight yogurts, half a loaf of hemp bread and a deli box of cut fruit, that is not actually food. But: get some food that does not require electricity to create; your "stove" may require it to create heat. (N.B. Remove shoes and/or papers from stove before using.)

• Don't worry about the homeless people. They'll take shelter in drains and sewers!

• Hey, you know what else runs on electricity in your home? The hot water in your shower. Surprise! (Also? Your iPhone will stop charging.)

• One other thing to note about this is… exactly how long do you think it'll take for the City to restore power lines if they go down all over Brooklyn and Queens? I'm putting that at about two to six weeks. Just a thought!

• Move your hard drives up to the second floor. What if you lost all your early design work from RISD?

• Be creative!

Well, we've filled up all our empty Prime Meats growlers with water. #irene #brooklyn #yuppiescumFri Aug 26 12:43:43 via web

• You should know that gravity causes water to move downwards, such as toward your basement.

People who will not help you this weekend include: your nanny, the folks at 311, cab drivers, the trash guys, your neighbors, your cleaning lady, bus drivers, people on Twitter, the people who sit in the subway stations and give directions to tourists because they have a really good union (who will not even be there anyway once the subway shuts down tomorrow), the pot delivery guy whose number you got from a friend "just in case," the really nice barista you see every morning and strangers on the street. They have problems of their own, and you are, at last, on your own.

Photo by Mattijs Grannetia

59 Comments / Post A Comment

ericdeamer (#945)

All this doesn't sound very artisanal.

hman (#53)

@ericdeamer Placentas are pretty darn artisanal.

LondonLee (#922)

But hurricanes are 100% natural, though not locally-grown.

C_Webb (#855)

@ericdeamer Brooklyn sewage is steeped in calico and filtered through nostalgia.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@ericdeamer That better be vegan raw sewage in my water.

flossy (#1,402)

@ericdeamer This hurricane will put a bird on it, alright.

keisertroll (#1,117)

As someone living on the outskirts of Philadelphia, I Thomas David Keiser being of sound mind and body hereby bequeath the following to…

scroll_lock (#4,122)

What are the predictions that Tom Ford will relax his "no shorts for men" rules for those forced to phlee the melee and rising waters?

@scroll_lock Shorts and hip waders are hotttttt.

Smitros (#5,315)

@Choire Sicha The streetwalker look, now for men!

keisertroll (#1,117)

@scroll_lock Everything's coming up Milhouse!

SeanP (#4,058)

@Choire Sicha Damn, all I have are chest waders.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Yesterday, I thought to myself, "The stove might go out, but I have an illicit charcoal grill on my balcony! That is … only useful outside. In the hurricane."

Plan B: stockpiling cans of off-brand SpaghettiOs to eat cold.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

@SidAndFinancy – Cue the obligatory aftermath stories of chumps who tried to grill a side of beef indoors as the smell of broken gas lines filled the air. The medical examiner arrives with an oversized pair of tweezers to collect what they can.

SeanP (#4,058)

@scroll_lock if the explosion don't get ya, the carbon monoxide will

scroll_lock (#4,122)

I always forget what the markup is for foodstuffs/batteries/water you remembered to buy but that your dehydrated, starving neighbors in the dark didn't. It would be embarrassing to appear greedy by asking 400% if the going rate is 300%.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@scroll_lock I thought the strategy was to offer them nothing and barricade yourself indoors, emerging only to feast on their remains.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

@boyofdestiny – Neighbor tartare.

deepomega (#1,720)

@scroll_lock Be sure to remember your extra-long fork so you can eat them while remaining inside!

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

This kind of ingenuity is going to make deepomega an Eater, and not an Eaten, in our soggy new post-Irene hellscape.

MichelleDean (#7,041)

For the first time I feel pride about moving to Queens next week.

Manhattanites are lucky: they can always choose to take shelter in one of their many big box stores.

@Clarence Rosario: The mayor has promised that the city service courtesy booths will be fully staffed!

whoneedslight (#758)

One word: YAHTZEE!!!

jolie (#16)

@whoneedslight UNO!!

C_Webb (#855)

@jolie MARCO! POLO!

alorsenfants (#139)

We had fun playing Jenga here in Virginia the other day –

jolie (#16)


I have the weirdest Dirty Jenga story. Do you wanna hear it?

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@jolie Terrible earhtquake game, though?

deepomega (#1,720)

@jolie Depends on the definition of dirty you're using, I guess.

bassknives (#2,903)

@jolie does it involve planking?

alorsenfants (#139)

Is it a sweet story? I always think post-earthquake and post-hurricane stories should be sweet?
This hurricane is passing Virginia without a hiccup. I certainly would not like it to affect my old country up there, either.
Anyhow — nothing I ever did with Jenga, with my then pretty young two kids, was interesting.
So you tell?

forrealz (#1,530)

I love you.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

God save me, and watch over you all.

C_Webb (#855)

Who else won't help: insurance companies. Moratorium on any additions/enhancements to renters or homeowners policies, or new policies, until the 29th of August!

brent_cox (#40)

@C_Webb Them insurance companies sure know how to tell a joke.

theheckle (#621)

Kevin Costner will save you/clean up your oil/ Be a bad actor.

hockeymom (#143)

Speaking of yogurt…what's the deal with "Greek Yogurt"?
Has there been a trend piece on it in the New York Times so I know how to feel about Greek Yogurt?

(Also…put your important papers and photos in a plastic bag, then put that in your escape bag.)

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@hockeymom It was actually in the New Republic.

bshep (#746)

@hockeymom lots more protein than regular yogurt, and surprisingly rich and creamy for a non-fat product. Although.. wait a minute.. wasn't there a Seinfeld about this? Has anyone tested this supposed "non-fat" food item?

mishaps (#5,779)

You probably also want some food that does not require electricity to cool, either. Now may be the time to eat that grass-fed filet mignon in the freezer, just in case. Remember, every time you open the French doors of your fridge during a power outage, some Smorgasburg-bought condiment dies.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

If you are thinking of putting cocaine in your "GO" Bag, then yes, you might have a problem.

Tyrantanic (#13,751)

…there are children out there named 'Chavley'?

GailPink (#9,712)

Does anyone know the shelf life of an unopened can of Sterno?

do you really heat your water with electricity lol

dep (#24,108)

No internet? Millions will be forced to masturbate with "vintage" magazines. Oh, the humanity!

hman (#53)

Wouldn't it be funny if The Awl set up a hurricane day liveblog for non-hurricane people to participate in while hurricane people probably won't have power or internet?
And then hurricane people could come back Monday (or Tuesday?) and see what what was said about everyone.
That would be funny.

BadUncle (#153)


1 case of beer
1 Fleshlight.

HiredGoons (#603)

Thank you for reminding me to buy pot.

SeanP (#4,058)

@HiredGoons It's important to stock up on essential supplies.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I was going to leave town until I realized how awesome the looting is going to be.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

The Ikea in Red Hook. Who's with me? Who's got a flat-bottomed boat?

C_Webb (#855)

@Tulletilsynet Pretty sure we can hotwire the Water Taxi, or at least make them drive us home. Do you perhaps live on the Gowanus?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

The Harlem. We can surf the surge up the East River.

culprit (#35,166)

Fuck Ikea. I'm looting Fairway.

I moved from NYC back to Chicago this year, and I'm glad. Yet I still find myself oddly jealous, and might throw a sympathy lights-out-lock-in with lots of booze and board games. Solidarity!

anonymass (#13,682)

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Todibeer (#39,899)

…there are children out there named 'Chavley'?

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