I-rene, Good night. I-i-rene, Good night. Irene Irene, Please Get Serene. Photo from NASA.
There’s no doubt now, if you are in an evacuation zone, you have got to go. Predictions are that waves could be as high as 11 feet. Subways and buses will shut down at noon, and winds could be heavy.
Click here to find out whether your home or business is in an evacuation zone. And here are the City’s evacuation instructions.
If you are outside the evacuation zone, of course it’s up to you. A friend of mine is throwing a dancing party at her Atlantic Avenue apartment for 5-year-olds and their parents to revel indoors while chaos ensues outside. Regardless of your plan , it is planning itself that’s key when a hurricane is approaching.
I’m no hardened hurricane veteran. But I did work for a newspaper in South Carolina that sent me driving into what was supposed to be a Category 5 hurricane, and I remember the fearsome feeling of driving down an empty highway toward the coast, while thousands of people sat in gridlock traffic on the other side, driving to safer ground. That storm was a bust, despite considerable hysteria. It mostly passed over the Hilton Head, S.C. area, where I was rushing about with a notebook. When the winds hit, tree limbs went flying like massive killing spears and you would not have wanted to be out on the streets.
And then there was the Blackout of 2004, which left my inner-city Detroit neighborhood without power for six days, longer than anywhere in the United States (the ghetto always gets the shaft). We grilled quickly-thawing frozen sausages and didn’t shower during that time—people were fighting for gas but other than that it was like a big Medieval party (pre children days.)
Even if the storm is a bust, so to speak, if winds get anywhere near the 80mps predicted, you will need to prepare.
WHAT TO GET IF YOU ARE RIDING OUT THE STORM:
- Water, and plenty of it (if power is out a few days, you can stay hydrated, cook, wash hands, etc.)
- Fill up your tank with gas, if you have a car
- An old-fashion phone that you plug into the wall in case phones go out
- Foods you don’t need to cook or refrigerate to last a few days (cheese sticks, peanut butter and crackers, fruit, nuts, energy and granola bars).
- An AM/FM radio
More tips, from the city:
1. Prepare a Disaster Plan: Develop a plan with household members outlining what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate if a hurricane strikes New York.
2. Insurance: Renter’s insurance covers household items for renters. Homeowners need to make sure they have proper insurance: flood and wind damage usually are not covered in basic policies.
3. If things get hairy, know where you’ll go, and how you’ll get there. The city is recommending that evacuees stay with friends or family outside the evacuation boundary. Hurricane shelters will get opened.
4. Keep a Go-Bag Ready, such as a backpack, filled with necessary items, such as photo IDs, keys, credit and insurance cards, etc.
Evacuees are being asked to report to evacuation centers (hard to imagine this happening to great degree). In South Brooklyn, the evacuation centers are NYC Technical College (300 Jay Street, Downtown Brooklyn), Brooklyn Tech High School (29 Forte Green Place, Forte Green), and John Jay
High School (237 Seventh Ave, Park Slope). Once at the evacuation center, evacuees will
Either be assigned to a hurricane shelter in the same facility or transported to an associated hurricane
shelter by bus.
Call 311 (TTY:212-504-4115).
From Markowitz’ office: A Category 1 storm expected to impact our area from Saturday night through Sunday night. Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, with extensive flooding, tidal surges, beach erosion and winds 40 to 80 mph with gusts approaching 100 mph.
Residents who live in Hurricane Evacuation Zone A are being strongly advised to evacuate to a location outside the zone today. This would include, but is not limited to, residents who live in parts of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sea Gate, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Sunset Park, Red Hook, DUMBO, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Please visit our website at www.brooklyn-usa.org for a map of the zones and the nearest evacuation centers, or call 3-1-1. As a precaution, hospitals, nursing homes and senior centers in Zone A have already been evacuated.
Subways and buses are running today, but may be shut down entirely tomorrow. For seniors and residents who have disabilities, they should utilize Access a Ride, contact family members or take whatever actions necessary to secure transportation from their homes to stay with friends or relatives, or go to the evacuation centers, which will be open by 4:00 this afternoon.
In areas with Orthodox Jewish populations, officials will be visiting synagogues and going up and down each street with bullhorns to make sure that community receives information once they are no longer able to monitor with electronic devices.
Although evacuations in Zone A are voluntary as of now, the City will make a decision by 8:00 am tomorrow (Saturday) morning on whether to make them mandatory. A decision on mass transit will also be made by that time. Residents should closely monitor forecasts, TV, radio and online news sources for the latest information, and visit www.nyc.gov or call 3-1-1 for the latest on storm preparations.
You can follow Borough President Markowitz on Twitter @martymarkowitz or become a fan of his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/martymarkowitz) to receive updates.
Any storm-related issues should be directed to 3-1-1 or Borough Hall Community Service Center at 718-802-3777. Dial 911 only in the case of an emergency.
You can report service problems and power interruptions and view service restoration information on Con Ed’s website.
More South Brooklyn Post Stories on Hurricane Irene:
Bloomberg Evacuates Low-Lying Brooklyn
Hurricane Evacuation Details