Saturday, 27 August 2011

Irene - Hurry Up and Wait

I think I'll do a little live blogging of Irene while there's internet!

So - catch up.

Here I am, in Zone B - very close to the river - but not mandatory evacuat-able.  What to do?

Whenever there's a decision to be made, which can only be made with more information than you are ever going to be able to get until it's too late, I find it best to work on all possible tracks until you're at that moment where you are going to lose a choice (unless that takes more energy, time, or resources than you have at your disposal, in which case you have to decide sooner and with less information).  At that point, well, you've got as much info as you're going to get, and you can keep heading in either direction, but you're going to have to pick one.

Options:  Evacuate, Stay

Staying means getting food and supplies, hoarding water, prepping for hurricane (which you have to do anyway for safety).

Leaving means finding alternative places to go, making a travel plan, packing (which you have to do anyway in case of real emergency).


Have painstakingly cleared the porch of almost all items and found sort of reasonable places for them inside.  Glad I canceled meetings and things today - this is time-consuming.

To Trader Joe's I went.  There was a line to get in.  There was a line from the produce section all through the store to get to the registers.  There was no bread.  There was no way to actually shop.  I left.  (Not without a minor temper tantrum, but oh well.)

Off to Whole Foods, which honestly, looked about the same as it always does - a line almost out the door.  However, it's better managed, and you can actually shop downstairs.  They seemed to have cleverly figured out which things to put on sale.  There were no black beans of any kind left - rice and beans seems to be what everyone decided to cook and leave on the stove.  I tried to stretch my Trader Joe's money and think I did pretty well.  The cashier was impressed.

Irene menu:

Yogurt, bananas, kiwi
Cucumber and/or watercress sandwiches
Bread and cheese
Egg salad sandwiches
Watercress salad
Mujadara (Rice and lentils)
Instant Thai Rice Noodles with egg and watercress
Coffee with almond or soy milk
Kettle chips w/lemmon hummus
Cherry Chili chocolate

Okay, you get the picture.  Eat the hummus first in case the power goes out.  Pre-cook hard-boiled eggs, and rice.  Butter and cheese are fine without refrigeration and the yogurt should last long enough.

The kettle chips were a questionable purchase, but hey, comfort in times of stress.  Chocolate is never a questionable purchase.

I get back from food shopping and then see the evacuation plan.  Maybe, had I seen it first, I would have hopped a train to Long Island or something.  Maybe.  But now I feel a bit invested.  I've got water in jars in the fridge and have cleared the porch and outdoor spaces and have all this food!

I write down a plan for either option, and keep wondering...find out at least one neighbor is staying.  Also found out Mojo is opening at least til noon.  With transit shutting down by noon on Saturday, I know my decision cutoff is between 10 and 11am Saturday.

I start locating crucial items (flashlights, emergency radio, matches, candles) - oh did I mention I'm at my friends' place and they actually can't get back to Manhattan? - and staging the kitchen - the middle level of the place which has no windows - as my emergency area.  It's high off the ground, no outside exposure, and not on the floor with the skylights.  (Hmm...skylights - pesky creatures.)

I proceed to angst myself and other people for a while.  I think about the fact that there was an earthquake a few days ago, that the construction site across the street is not at all secure - things will go flying - that the tree out front could fall, that the water could come in under the front door...

Look at radar maps, blogs, even NY1 and CNN.  Check the transit again.  Pack "emergency" bag.

Eventually decide to try to find a stupid movie to watch on Hulu.  Fall Asleep.


Get up.  Check everything.  No real change in NYC evacuation or transit plans.  Make coffee.  Check more.  Write.  Drink coffee.  Shower.  Bring bags to the kitchen/Irene central.  Locate sleeping bag and bring down.

Decide to........................


Feel much better.  Decisions are good things.

Now I can take a walk.  In the light rain.

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