Irene relief

Hi, all–

As many of you have no doubt realized, Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage inland in New England, as well as along the coasts of states like North Carolina and Virginia. Many major roads have been rendered impassable and there are people still stranded because of that. Some people have lost everything in the flooding, and others lost loved ones.

I know this has been a hard and heinous year in terms of natural disasters, but if you could, please consider helping again.

Huffington Post has a good list of organizations that are lending relief.

The Salvation Army has made it easy if you don’t want to go online. Text “STORM” to 80888 to make a one-time $10 donation. Or, if you want to go online, here’s the link.

The Red Cross has also made it easy: You can call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Or, if you want to go online, here.

AmeriCares specializes in getting medicines and medical supplies to hard-hit areas. You can donate here.

Operation Blessing is accepting donations to provide relief supplies to communities affected by Hurricane Irene.

Network for Good has lists of organizations that are helping with relief efforts.

If you’re in those hard-hit areas and you’re able to volunteer for relief efforts, thank you. If you’re not, but you can donate some money to organizations that are helping, thank you, as well.

And please do share this list.


Weather Goest Thou…


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.

source: Baltimore Sun

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 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.

Shake it UP!

Holy temblors, Batman!

For those of you in the eastern part of the country, you experienced something today, didn’t you? A 5.8 quake hit near Mineral, VA today (about 40 miles NW of Richmond). Its effects were felt as far north as Portland, Maine. South of Mineral, people in South Carolina felt it, while Tennesseans felt it to the west. Some structures in Washington, DC sustained damaage; reports of flooding in the Pentagon basement have hit some news outlets, and apparently the National Cathedral was also damaged.

source: Fox28, Columbus

Wowzers. It was the largest tremor in recent history. Perhaps Virginia was just succumbing to peer pressure. A rare 5.3 rocked SE Colorado the day before, about 9 miles from the city of Trinidad, which is just north of the New Mexico border. I know that area, as I grew up in Colorado and then moved to New Mexico. Whoa!

source: Examiner

And, because I’m a writer and reader, here’s a list of literary treatments of earthquakes, the oldest published in 1807. That book is

“The Earthquake in Chile” by Heinrich von Kleist. Originally published in 1807, Kleist’s novella takes place during the 1647 Santiago earthquake and ends tragically, with a young couple killed after having been blamed, in a sermon, for the disaster. But Kleist has a bigger purpose, which is to highlight the idea that meaning is a matter of interpretation, that what we know is what we see.

I hope everyone is okay, and now, East-coasters, get ready for the next weather event. Hurricane Irene is right around the corner.


So here you go. Hurricane preparedness (scroll down on that page) and, just in case, earthquake safety tips. I am, after all, an apocalyptic-type. 8)

All rightie. Happy reading, and happy safety!