Okay, as much as I enjoy tickling my apocalyptic bone, this is not one of those occasions. The Eastern seaboard is in the path of a major hurricane. The size of Hurricane Irene is unreal — I’ve heard that her wind bands alone encompass 300 miles and 29 MILLION people are under a hurricane WARNING. This is a big-ass storm, and she’s working her way up the East Coast. If you are in those areas, please take the warnings seriously.
She’s also an extremely unusual storm in that she will maintain her power all the way up into New England, possibly as a Category 1 or 2. That’s unusual because normally, the Atlantic isn’t warm enough that far north to fuel a storm like this. But sea temps have been rising over the past few years, and last year’s were pretty high (relatively speaking) and this year’s are, as well. Third highest on record. Guess what? Warm water is hurricane food. And hurricanes also spawn tornadoes, so please pay attention to the warnings. Flood, wind, tornadoes. This ain’t kiddin’ around time, friends.
And because I am a weather junkie of a sort, I’m fascinated by things like tornadoes and hurricanes. Here’s a great link that can teach you about hurricanes, how they form, and how they manage to move around and do what they do. Sometimes, understanding something on the science level of it makes you understand how very powerful these storms are and the damage they can do.
The NOAA provides a good “basics” list here.
For info about hurricane preparedness and what you should consider having in a hurricane kit or a bug-out bag, here’s the NOAA again.
Here’s a disaster supply kit/list.
Here’s Ready.gov with great info, too.
And it’s a good idea to have a bug-out bag at the ready. Keep it in your closet and check it every few weeks to make sure everything’s a-okay. Here’s a good list of what to include in it and why you should have one.
Keep in mind that key to all of this is planning ahead of time. Figure out the best evacuation route for you and your family (if applicable), keep your gas tank full, and your bug-out bag at the ready. Think about what you personally need in your bug-out bag, and the climate in which you are (e.g. you may want to pack a poncho). So it’s always a good idea to be prepared, even if you don’t end up using your gear.
With regard to Hurricane Irene, the Weather Channel has great updates on that storm, preparedness, and other helpful information. The Weather Channel is a great website to check, anyway, especially when there’s a weather emergency because they make sure people get good information.
And, to bring this back to a book, check out fab writer Eric Larson’s Isaac’s Storm, about the 1900 Galveston hurricane that changed the course of Texas coastal history. Isaac Cline was the weatherman at Galveston.
Okay, all. If you’re in Irene’s path or stand to be affected in some way by her, please take precautions.
Happy Friday, and stay safe.
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