Saturday, September 03, 2011

Surviving the Hurricane in NYC

I meant to write this last week but things were a bit hectic.
So Hurricane Irene made it's way up north to NYC and we were a direct target.
Because of such the Mayor implemented a full out preparation plan that included evacuations of hospitals and nursing homes and low lyings areas that had major potential for flooding.  The MTA also shut down the mass transit system, buses and trains.
I do not recall this type of disaster preparedness ever in my life in NYC.
Still being the jaded New Yorker that I am, I watched the news and did common sense preparation.
This included making sure I had groceries but not more than my usual grocery shopping, stocking up on toilet paper because no one wants to be without TP, disaster or not, filling up my gas tank and charging my batteries on my flashlights.  Oh and of course contacting family to make sure they do the same and that they refill any prescriptions needed.
Apparently the other New Yorkers, those who are transplants, went crazy and bought out water and paper products like mad.  Lines at the wine store were pretty large as well.  I suppose if I wasn't pregnant and a parent and sequestered in my home I'd stock up on wine too but water?
My brother said that up by him the line for back up generators was ridiculously long.
Ok, may be it's because I live in the highest point in Manhattan and may be it's because I'm a jaded New Yorker but I really didn't feel the need to over prepare.
Yes, I live in an island but I'm at the highest point.  If I flood, we're looking at a <u>Day After Tomorrow</u> scenario.
Some of my neighbors, lovingly transplants, high tailed it out of NYC.
One family wound up with power outages where they went.  Another family endured flooding.
Here in the neighborhood we endured a few downed trees.  That's it.
Now I know that we are fortunate but I also felt like NYC has an amazing infrastructure and a strong will survive attitude.  I'd rather be in the city than in the rural parts of New Jersey or Pennsylvania during this type of potential disaster.
The biggest thing I was concerned with was how were we going to make it through the weekend trapped indoors.  When I say we, I don't refer to the dog who thinks she's a cat and does not like to go for walks but me, my husband and our toddler daughter.
DH was thinking the same.  He was concerned that thunderstorms may be too much for TG again and so he beelined to Toys R Us during her nap and just as the mass transit system was shut down to pick up an erector set figuring it would take a good chunk of time for them to build and put together.  <i>He's right but I'll save that for another post.</i>
I planned out the arts and crafts and cooking projects.  I also prepped some group activities for the building kids just in case.
In the end we wound up doing the usual amount of activities as we would on any given day.  We read about hurricanes and looked at pictures and maps.  By the end of the storm, she was able to tell me when the weather person was on television and would describe where the hurricane was on the satellite image.
We did some spin art and made hurricane paintings.
We made oatmeal cookies with pretty much every nut I could find in the house.
We did hurricane dancing which involved a lot of spinning.
We read more about clouds which came in handy the next day when she spied the cloud change in the sky.
And there was the erector set.
The storm passed through the night and we barely heard anything indoors.  We could see the trees blowing madly but other than that, we didn't hear thunder or any other potentially disrupting sounds.
The next morning TG woke up to the sun peeking through, the eye of the storm.  She looked out and exclaimed the wind was quiet now.  I tried to explain that in the middle of the hurricane it can get very quiet and still but that the winds would pick up again soon.
Sure enough they did but not was violently as we had suspected.
We opted to stay away from the parks until the park rangers gave a greenlight to go in but took a walk up the block to allow the dog to pee.
By the way around 10:30-11am on Sunday, I'm fairly certain every dog in NYC peed.  Every dog and dog owner in the neighborhood was outside during the eye of the storm to allow their pooches some quick relief.
That evening as DH and TG walked our dog up the block, they saw and heard a tree crack and fall to the ground.  It was enough for both of them to decide it was best to go back home.  <i>Thank you Lord  for the blessing of common sense.</i>
So that's our story of how we endured Hurricane Irene.
It wasn't bad for us, thankfully.  The hardest part was dealing with the claustrophobia which peaked on Sunday afternoon.
We know others weren't as lucky so we're continuing to be thankful.