Go to google maps for where you live.
Click on the earth view and a menu will pop up below it – select MORE from bottom of list.
Click on TERRAIN view.
It will show you the elevations for where you live, work, and drive or take public transportation.
Consider the high ground nearest where you live – locate it.
Consider the low ground, level ground and possible flooding areas where you might drive or have to evacuate and map in your mind how to go AROUND them – not through them.
Locate the OEM information for your area – they have maps of expected flood / storm surge areas, information on where to listen for local info from team leaders at emergency management.
There will also be (on the news or emergency info city websites) – when public transportation will stop before the storm gets there. THIS is critical information, if you expect to use that transportation to get home from work or school or go pick up your kids or get to an evacuation center / shelter, or to stores, to friends or to check on family.
Expect that when a storm event happens, cellphone calls may be out of the question. Texting might work. Make sure elderly neighbors, friends and family members, disabled family members and children in your group know how to use the texting feature on the cellphone, or access their computer’s abilities to connect if they need to do so.
FEMA and other sources, including news websites have lists and information to use for preparing ahead of time, in case evacuation must happen or if you expect to shelter in place during the hurricane and its subsequent flooding. These lists are useful. You will need to add a couple of things to them, including keeping your house keys, ID, wallet, shoes and go-bag in one specific sensible expected place to get your hands on it quickly. If its in the car, it won’t do any good in the house, when you have to leave from there without the car that has been trashed by the storm.
Also add to the list of preparations, including – if you leave to evacuate in your car or by bus – crackers, small cups of applesauce w some plastic spoons, bottled water & cans of tuna with a hand operated canopener.
If you can’t board up windows and must shelter in place, bring your pillows and blankets near where you expect is the most protected place where you live, put blankets over inside of windows using pushtacks, and make sure that any candles you might intend to use are placed either in a sink with a mirror to cast the light around to bounce it off the ceiling or in some other way protected from cats, children, toddlers, or catching your hair on fire when you brush by it. Modern homes and apartments are not made nor furnished with candles as a light source in mind, and there is no reason to have two disasters on top of the one already ongoing.
If you can evacuate to friends homes and stay with them or the homes of family members, give them a bit of money to help with the groceries and do that.
Staying in a hotel, driving in the traffic during an evacuation for hours is very, very, very difficult and expensive. The city will list evacuation centers / shelters nearby and there may be buses staged to take you and your family there. If the opportunity comes to do that, you should consider the inconvenience worthy of doing.
The GOAL is to have ZERO deaths and NO injuries from this storm. Your life and the lives of those you love are worth more than any inconvenience involved in going to a FEMA shelter. There are OEM maps for your city or area which have the shelters expected to be used marked on them. Know where they are. After the storm is on top of you and your family, the chances of walking or driving to these shetlers in the rain, wind, lightning and flooding are slim and become an exercise in life threatening situations which are unnecessary.
USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. Don’t downplay the storms’ ability to change your life dramatically in the very worst sorts of ways beyond your imagination. There is no value in pretense, acting as if you are not going to be bothered by it. If the reports say it is not coming your way, then fine – go joke and have a beer. Otherwise, taking it seriously can increase your family’s chance of having quality of life for a long time to come – that makes it well worth planning, thinking it through, using your common sense, grabbing the things you need and getting out of harm’s way if necessary.
NEVER drive across a flooded moving water intersection – it can and will carry you and your car with your family in it like its a matchstick.
Back up and go around. Find another route. Now would be a good time to determine on a google terrain map, where those alternate higher ground routes would be. When a storm event is happening or has already happened to flood streets, intersections, bring rivers or creeks out of their banks – stay away from those areas. It is a no-win situation to try and drive through moving water, especially with debris in it and a current that can take your car out of your control. Let there be no drownings because of this – during and after this storm.
Consider that after the storm, it may be awhile before things are returned to safety and “normal”. This includes subway systems you expect to use to get to work, electricity availability (which is keeping your food good in the refrigerator), stores being open to get medications, food or other necessities, communications, and getting current local news / emergency info. Finding the ways to take care of these things ahead of time can make things easier after the fact. A note from the Corps of Engineers and the Navy emergency readiness suggested problems with city sewer systems can happen, so moist towelettes or baby wipes could be very useful. Water systems may be impacted, so fill up some empty gallon milk jugs or juice containers / pitchers with tap water now before the storm comes. And, check the FEMA preparedness lists.
Know where your shoes are.
Stay away from power lines, downed power lines and other electrical equipment that has come down during the storm.
Use your common sense.
Have foods on hand that you can eat without preparation or refrigeration required.
Make sure you have a canopener that is hand operated.
Use the texting feature on your cellphone for calls during emergencies.
Check to see that elderly and disabled neighbors, friends and family members are taken to the shelter or prepared for the hurricane.
Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do, including how to text, how to access the internet if available, how to use google maps, where you stashed the extra jugs of water, if they are needed and to pay attention for what is going on around them (smell gas? downed power lines? flooded streets with a current that can sweep people and cars away? tree limbs about to fall? where is high ground?)
NYC OEM map of evacuation areas expected to have flooding / storm surge – if the hurricane comes that way
Includes where the shelters are (red dots indicate them).
DHSJournal Homeland Security
National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) is online at http://www.hurricanes.gov & on your phone at hurricanes.gov/mobile #Irene
NYC_DOT NYC DOT
New Yorkers: For updates on the storm this weekend, follow @NotifyNYC and @NYCMayorsOffice for immediate news.
washingtonpost The Washington Post
#HurricanePrep: Get @CapitalWeather on your mobile device wapo.st/qY4wSy
Government in real-time: @FEMA‘s Hurricane #Irene Twitter list: bit.ly/onSwp2 Related: bit.ly/pVNifv #gov20
norfolkdistrict Corps of Engineers
#hastobesaid: Sewage treatment *could* be down for days. Have moist towelettes, garbage bags & plastic ties 4 personal sanitation #Irene
@FlightAware air travel page on Hurricane Irene with links to airline waivers, flight delay information, NOAA… fb.me/11Ddf0Wne
CraigatFEMA Craig Fugate
#Hurricane #Irene Storm Surge Probabilities nhc.noaa.gov/psurgegraphics…
USDA Dept. of Agriculture
RT @usdafoodsafety: USDA offers #foodsafety tips in preparation for #Hurricane #Irene go.usa.gov/km4
DHSJournal Homeland Security
What should a basic Hurricane kit contain? It’s not just water, food & a flashlight – see the list: 1.usa.gov/Ih7pJ
Where I will be twittering retweets of places to find good info and current info about the hurricane, preparedness, and other nifty stuff.
And – REMEMBER THIS – If the power has been off three days, the food in your fridge is NOT GOOD. It is not safe to eat. Food poisoning on top of everything else can be a cruel addition to an otherwise difficult situation and can even be life threatening. Just throw it away and don’t chance getting sick or making anyone else sick from it.