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