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Hurricane Irene Prompts Unprecedented Evacuation of NYC 395

oxide7 links this bit of sobering news, as reported by the International Business Times: "For the first time, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation of 300,000 residents of the cities coastal areas as Hurricane Irene barrels up the East Coast. Buses and subways prepared to shut on Saturday as Hurricane Irene approaches as well. All New Jersey rail service will be suspended from noon Saturday, while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will institute a shutdown of trains and buses starting at the same time. The suspension will include subways, buses, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will suspend PATH train service at noon as well. 'This is a mandatory evacuation,' Bloomberg said. 'By five o'clock tomorrow you have to be out. Waiting for the last minute is not a smart thing to do. This is life threatening.'" Good luck to everyone in the storm's path: Irene is big. (Hat tip to Matt Lord.) What, if anything, are you doing to prepare? Having spent more than an hour in worse-than-usual D.C. traffic after Tuesday's earthquake, I shudder to think of leaving New York in a rush. Update: 08/27 06:43 GMT by T : An anonymous reader points out the official evacuation map (PDF), on the swamped NYC server, and suggests "Lets mirror this file anywhere we can ... put it on all social media. Make these systems do what they were supposed to — help us. I'm in Long Island City ~100 yards from the East River in the orange (highest risk) area."
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Hurricane Irene Prompts Unprecedented Evacuation of NYC

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  • My brother is running a mainframe in northern New Jersey. He's staying.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I tried to buy a generator today...they were all sold out everywhere. I did manage to buy a chain saw.

      I've already volunteered to help with communications once the phones go down. (I'm a ham radio operator, and am charging up radios right now.) Any hams who are available, I heartily suggest you contact your local Emergency Coordinator with days/times available. Also let him know if your emergency comms experience. If you don't know who your EC is, go to the ARRL website.

      • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:27PM (#37225262) Homepage

        I remember when I was kid, the power would go out for days at a time in the winter occasionally. Granted, rural area in the Pacific NW (70s), and we just cooked on our woodstove (*), and I realize not everyone can have that sort of setup, but I sort of cringe at all the people going out and buying generators and such as if they'd die should the TV or computer not function. Honestly, power outages always seemed kind of fun, and I miss them. The grid seems much less likely to have outages, and those we have rarely last more than 10 minutes, at least here in town rather than out in the county.

        (*) While I realize that one can consider a woodstove to be an energy generator akin to an electricity generator, the big difference is that people pile up enough wood for winter, but (hopefully) people don't store enough gas for winter. So even with a generator, you're going to be running out for gas in any long term outage.

        • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:18AM (#37225498)

          After Hurricane Wilma, I had no power for almost four weeks.

          Four. Fucking. Weeks.

          I didn't live out in BFE, either... I lived in Coral Gables, which is about as hardcore "Central Dade County" as you can get.

          That said, here's a big, huge tip for anybody who wants to be able to run a window air conditioner from a generator -- all things equal, the magic minimum is around 3,600 watts. I'd recommend 4200-4800 minimum. Why?

          1. The generator's wattage is a polite fiction. The number printed on the box is roughly what it can output for about 5 minutes before Bad Things Happen. The REAL power output it can SUSTAIN is about 80% of that amount, maybe less.

          2. Most generators have split-phase power, which is a nice way of saying that the big number printed by the box is kind of divided between two outlets. So your "4800-watt" generator is really more like 2400 watts (max) per outlet (which translates into about 1800 watts per outlet sustained). A small window air conditioner draws about 1200-1500 running watts, and needs about 1800 watts to start up.

          Now, the half & half rule isn't quite set in stone... you can usually get away with drawing about 2400 watts (sustained) from a single outlet on a "4000-watt" generator with no load on the other outlet, but then you run into the next problem:

          3. Generator run times are usually quoted at "50% load". If you have an air conditioner connected to one outlet of a 4KW generator, it's not really a "50% load", even if it's the only thing you're running. Why? Unbalanced loads make your fuel economy go WAY down. It won't quite suck down as much gas as a 100% load, but from my own experience, it'll act kind of like an 80-90% load fuel-wise. So if you're going to run a window air conditioner from a 4KW generator, you might as well plug the refrigerator (or another small air conditioner) into the other outlet and enjoy it, because at that point it will barely make a dent in your fuel use.

          That said, don't go hog wild and buy a 10KW generator without a good reason. Especially not a cheap one. Most cheap generators do a really bad job of throttling down to accommodate reduced loads, and will burn almost as much gas with a nightlight as they will with a 50% load. It's a balancing act, and it's an important one, because if you're going to be feeding a generator for a few days, let alone a few weeks, a $40-50/day gas habit quickly becomes painful.

          Oh, I almost forgot... there's one last catch...

          4. Generators and UPSes don't get along. At all. 99.9% of the UPSes you can buy at a retail store will ignore electricity from a generator, will run 100% from the battery until it's drained, and shut down. There ARE expensive inverter-type generators that can charge a UPS, and UPSes that can charge from a cheap generator, but both are likely to cost more than it's worth spending.

          4b. Generators and some DC power supplies don't get along very well, either. It's hit-or-miss, and hard to tell which power supplies are generator-unfriendly without testing them. Some will operate very, very inefficiently, and some won't work at all. The problem is that cheap (non inverter-type) generators don't output sine waves, and their "dirty" output doesn't play nicely with switching-type power supplies. You MIGHT be able to get around this by "double conversion". After Wilma, I had to power my DSL modem by plugging a 12v adapter into an outlet (which gave me a fake cigarette lighter rated at 1000mA), then plugged an inverter into it (giving me a 110v outlet), then plugged the DSL modem's power supply into the inverter. Ugly in countless ways, but it got me back online.

          4c. As a corollary to 4b, most cheap generators suck at battery-charging.

          The moral: if you don't need air conditioning, and can afford it, buy an inverter-type generator. They'll play nicely with power supplies (but your UPS might still get bitchy), and low-RPM expensive inverter-type generators also tend to be the quietest and most fuel efficient. Apparently, Honda makes some o

          • by RobbieThe1st ( 1977364 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @01:00AM (#37225618)

            Most of this is correct, but the problem with low-quality output on cheaper generators is not the lack of sine-wave output. Any AC motor will, by definition, put out a nice, true sine wave. The problem, however, is frequency. As frequency output is directly linked to engine speed, a generator loping or at the wrong speed will produce a not-60 cycle output, which UPS's are often designed to watch for and switch to battery.
            Modern computer power supples on the other hand, are designed to handle 100-240V, 47-63hz, so a few hz off won't matter at all.

            Low-quality inverters put out 60hz, "modified sine-wave" output - something akin to a square-wave with a positive and negative cycle. They work great with modern electronics(though they hum), but motors don't like it.
            High-quality, "true-sine" inverters put out just that... more or less.

            • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @01:43AM (#37225740)

              ^^^ That reminds me of another caveat -- inrush current. Powerful fans, in particular, are hard to use with generators -- even big ones. I have a Vornado fan (circa 1995) that can almost blow the bark off of a tree when it's running at full speed. My first generator (a 4-stroke 2000-watt baby generator like the one I described above) couldn't run it. I plugged it into the extension cord, turned it on (after starting the generator and letting it stabilize), and the generator literally rocked about 3 inches in the air on one side and choked to a halt as though an invisible hand just grabbed the spinning rotor and forced it to stop. The same generator was able to start a cheap window box fan... but ONLY if I quickly turned the knob from "off" to "medium" and allowed it to stabilize before turning it up to 'high'. If I went directly from "off" to "high", it would stall the generator.

              The microwave oven was another thing that the generator didn't like *at all*. I tried using the microwave with generator #2 (5600-watt Craftsman). It worked, but both the microwave and generator made really bad-sounding noises (hard to describe, kind of a buzzing hum that was REALLY loud), and I decided to just forget about trying to use the microwave on generator power due to worries that it would damage the oven, the generator, or both.

              That reminds me... if you're in the hurricane's path, do all your laundry now. You can run a washing machine from a generator, but even a whole-house 24-kW Generac is going to struggle with an electric dryer. I don't know about the northeast, but in Florida, clothes lines just don't work during the summer. You can leave clothes hanging on them all day, and they'll STILL be damp when the sun goes down. Post-Wilma, my coworkers and I had to bring damp clothes to the office and hang them on makeshift clotheslines between cubes to get them to dry out in the air conditioning.

            • The magic required for a switching power supply to like variable frequencies is active PFC. When you have an active PFC, the power supply becomes voltage and frequency agnostic over quite a large range (usually even larger than stated).

              This mostly means newer power supplies. They have become more common since the EU has been requiring them. As you noted, essential all computer power supplies are active PFC these days and you find many of the wall wart/line lump adapters are that come with good electronics.


              • by Agripa ( 139780 )


                Power supplies without active power factor correction use a full wave rectifier feeding a large input capacitor. The only thing they care about is peak voltage. You can run them from at least 50 to 400 hertz without issues of any kind and since they use a voltage doubler for 120 volts AC, they will also run fine on 340 volts DC. The only issues are that their poor harmonic related power factor is hard on some generating equipment (VA verse watts) and the ones with automatic input range switching cou

          • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Saturday August 27, 2011 @04:43AM (#37226162) Journal

            Seconded on the inverter-type generators. They're very expensive to buy, per-watt, but they'll pay for themselves in fuel (and noise and weight) if you use them much.

            After a flood which killed a bunch of underground electrical infrastructure, I was charged with keeping a generator online on top of a 12-story building to power some local law enforcement radio gear.

            At first, we had a smallish Honda with an inverter. This drove a UPS and the gear just fine, and had a small fuel tank which would keep it running almost 24 hours.

            So, about every 20 hours I trundled up the stairs to refuel the thing. It was a pain, but it worked. It was light-weight and quiet, even under load.

            Then, it died. No idea why it died, but it failed to start. (But it wasn't my generator, and I didn't have the tools to work on it. But the oil was good, so I'm sure whatever happened was simple to fix.)

            So we brought up a replacement -- a 5,000 Watt conventional unit. This thing failed to drive a UPS, and needed a lot more fuel twice as often to keep it running. I have no idea how much it weighed but it, and the fuel, got a lot heavier with every flight of stairs, and it made the same hard-to-shout-over racket whether it was doing work or just loafing along. Keeping that thing fed with fuel every 8-12 hours really fucked up my sleep habits that week.

            This experience has taught me that if I ever buy a generator for my own household purposes (which I should: we get tornados, floods, and blizzards here), it'll either be a big, fixed Generac running from natural gas, or a portable unit built around an inverter.

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            5. Running a PC directly from a generator without some kind of UPS or voltage conditioning is very bad news. I had to replace a few power supplies on a few Sun machines from someone that did that because they were in a hurry.
  • Man I could go for some hurricane rain here in DFW. But seriously stay safe, don't end up a darwin award. Don't be stupid. []
  • It's sunny and beautiful in Oregon, but I'm checking the news regularly.

    My sister lives on Long Island full time, my brother weekdays; they live on either side of Irene's current projected path through Nassau County. It's odd and disquieting to see the line going through familiar places like Hempstead and Muttontown.

    Two cousins live in NYC, one far enough south in Manhattan to be in the "B" Zone.

    Batten down the hatches, folks. Don't do anything stupid.

    And remember: Creamed Eels, Wadded Beef and Corn Nog don

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @10:51PM (#37225086)

    Title says it all. Cat-2.

    It has a slim chance of being a hurricane still when it gets to New York.

    It has a slightly better chance of 50 knot wind-speeds by then.

    And it has a decent chance of being a weak tropical storm.

    In other words, not even worth evacuating for....

    For reference, I live in the Big Easy - I've sat out Cat-2 storms before, more than once.

    But from the looks of it, this storm is being blown all out of proportion....

    • And you've got Abita Beer to ease your fears......:^)

      • And you've got Abita Beer to ease your fears......:^)

        Matter of fact, just picked up a sixpack of Turbodog yesterday....

    • by siride ( 974284 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:01PM (#37225152)

      Flood is a big concern still, as is storm surge. Due to interaction with a trough in SE Canada, a large area of heavy rain will spread out ahead of the storm and keep raining over areas for potentially as long as 24 hours. Many of these areas have already had significant rains during the summer, leading to saturated ground before the storm even gets there. Some gusty winds can thus easily knock down trees and powerlines (for the areas where that's a concern). Flooding is definitely going to be a problem.

      Media hype is...well, very disappointing. They focus on the wrong problems in the wrong area and in their zeal for ratings, they completely distort reality.

      • OTOH, NYC is about 100 years overdue for an enema.

      • Storm surge and flooding is a huge factor in large storms like this. The second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history was Hurricane Mitch [] in 1998. If you look at its storm track [] you'll notice the entire time it was over land, it was "only" a tropical storm or a tropical depression.
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:14PM (#37225204)

      NYC isn't quite as accustomed to hurricanes as NOLA. Imagine how NOLA would handle a noreaster dumping four feet of snow on you, and you'll get a better feel for the severity.

      • Perfect analogy. New Englanders scoff when they close roads in Virginia for a couple inches of snow, but it's necessary because they don't have the infrastructure to deal with it. This is no different.
    • You forget how everyone from DC to NYC reacted to the earthquake...
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by DigiShaman ( 671371 )

      Oh come on! Let's just say what everyone else knows. No one has, so I'll just say it. It's political, period. Pure and simple. We have DC and NY along with other eastern coast cities that generally vote Democrat. And guess the types of media that is in the tank for them? Wild guess anyone? This is nothing more than a hype so at the end of the day, the politicians come out as heros for putting their own neck on the line and getting their hands dirty.

      If we can ride out Ike, i'm sure the rest of you should hav

    • Yup, the eye is collapsing, and the wind speed is dropping,,,, But it is still 951MB
    • by jjoelc ( 1589361 )

      While I have family on the outer banks in NC, and I wish everyone the best... I can't help but think that poor Irene doesn't have a chance of living up to the media coverage... The sad part isn't that the media has latched onto it and is hyping it to no end. (We're used to that, after all...) But that it really is a prime example of "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf". Hype it up and it fails to meet expectations, and nobody will believe you next time... When it IS that bad.

    • Cat-2? In 2011? Damn. I was expecting at least Cat5e.

  • We wish you well! Courage!
  • Keep perspective (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sierran ( 155611 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @10:55PM (#37225110)

    300,000 people and the 'affected areas' are a relatively small percentage of New York City. The vast majority of New Yorkers are doing what we normally do when doom is predicted - snark, ignore, and stock up on liquor and cigarettes.

    Seriously, though, there's no way New York City itself could be evacuated without something on the scale of Dunkirk. The thought of 8 million people trying to escape over a mere 4 or 5 Interstate-class roads makes a lot of us laugh at the idea of the 'go bag' that the authorities and preparedness obsessives keep talking about. If anything happened that was big enough to force a major evac on NYC, we'd be going nowhere so fast due to traffic we'd end up using all three changes of clothes just sitting in cars or in train stations or airports. So unless the 'crisis' is fairly personal, I plan on having lots of time to pack whatever's needed - or to make sure I have the requisite amount of booze and books to see me through the forting up!


  • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @10:57PM (#37225122)

    ... it's only supposed to be a category 1 by the time it reaches land, and down to tropical storm strength by the time it reached New York. When I lived in Florida, we didn't even lower the awnings for a cat 1.

    After this, and the hullabaloo over that 5.9 earthquake (I live in California now, and we laughed at the big deal they made out of it.), I think the east coast are being a massive bunch of drama queens.

    • by siride ( 974284 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:04PM (#37225168)

      Or the media, rather. They love this. Hurricane headed for one of the biggest markets in the country. Even if it ends up being a dud, they can still spend a day going after the meteorologists who correctly predicted it, even when the media did not, and get their ratings fill. It's a win-win for them.

    • Because the storm is so massive, there is expected to be a storm surge about one category higher than the storm actually arrives at.

      One analysis I read rated the chances of topping the manhattan flood wall at 20%. So not huge, but good enough odds that it warrants not killing people if you guess wrong.

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      It's just that nothing happens on the East coast, so people make a big deal out of this events :)

    • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <> on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:42PM (#37225334)

      Good for you. We'll come and dump 4 feet of snow on you overnight, and "laugh at the big deal you make out of it" as you try desperately to dig yourselves out with no/not enough plows, shovels, snowblowers, and tire chains.

      Look. Different regions get different types of weather. How'd your last ice storm go? Because ours gave us a day or two of trouble. Same with the blizzard we had this winter - 4 feet of snow in one day, and cleared out the next. But that's because we plan for snow, ice, and harsh winters in general. Oh your car won't start? Should have used a block heater, how stupid of you. But you'll only need it once? Drama queen...

      In the Northeast, we don't get hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes. In California, you don't get much snow or ice, or sub-zero temperatures (or tornadoes). So you have building codes that handle earthquakes, and we have plows and snowblowers. We plan for typical events, and don't waste our limited resources on highly unusual events. Neither of us would be very prepared for an F3 blowing through town, but are you going to call yourself a drama queen for being bummed that your house is a half-mile in the air?

      I think people do this to feel superior. I don't get it. But New Englanders were doing the same thing when DC shut down over 3 inches of snow, so it's not just you.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bashibazouk ( 582054 )

        "In California, you don't get much snow or ice, or sub-zero temperatures"

        Uh...I would like to introduce you to this mountain range called the Sierra Nevada. Believe me, it snows there and gets quite cold...

      • by hjf ( 703092 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @01:10AM (#37225652) Homepage

        Agreed. I live in the North-east Argentina. Buenos Aires has recently experienced some heavy storms in the past couple of years, which the media tends to exaggerate. They get crazy about 40-60mm rainfall. And I think to myself... gee, it hasn't rained that much in a while. I actually MISS when it rains like that.

        In the 2009-2010 summer (south hemisphere, remember) I heard El Niño was going to be stronger than usual. So I got myself a wireless rain meter. The first rain was good enough to test it. The second rain was 180mm in 1 night! 120mm in 3 hours alone.

        Next day? No power for a few hours and some flooded streets that were dry by the time power came back. That morning was a bit complicated but the afternoon was business as usual. Summer ended with almost 500mm rain, and the river, 50cm away from evacuation (3m is the average height, 6m is warning, 6,50 is evacuation. It's a wide river, over 2km wide and "only" 30m deep where I live... so rising for 6 to 6,50 takes a good deal of water).

      • What's funnier is that natural disasters all necessitate approximately the same type of preparedness: water, food, and electrical source. And yet, everybody treats it like some major disaster when in all cases, it really isn't.

        The "mandatory evacuation" (because while it's "mandatory," the cops aren't going door-to-door asking people to leave, and while it's an evacuation, it usually involves going a couple of blocks up the street to the nearest school that's on slightly higher ground) is really just for fl

    • by hrvatska ( 790627 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:55PM (#37225384)
      It's all relative. One area's once a century calamity is another area's semi-regular event. It all depends on what the local buildings and infrastructure are designed to handle.
  • by vmxeo ( 173325 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @10:58PM (#37225136) Homepage Journal

    I'm writing this from the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, right near the edge of the evacuation zone 'C'. A good portion of the people here in the neighborhood of Dumbo near the water have either followed mandatory evacuation or have opted to leave on their own . Nearby low-lying Fulton Ferry and the much better situated Brooklyn Heights are ready to ride the storm out.

    I also happen to have the weekend on-call network emergency duty for a group of offices here in the neighborhood (trade into it weeks ago. Oops). We ran through a checklist today, including testing backup generators and going over contingency plans for flooding. In front of me is a cell phone, radio and keys to everything. Meanwhile, the city is doing a massive amount of prep work on its own. Talked to a number of friends and neighbors today and everyone who will be here is hunkered down.

    This is my first hurricane. Not sure how this is going to turn out, but everyone here is ready.

    Bring it Irene.

  • When you need him?

  • Florida must be making fun of us the same way that Californians were making fun of us earlier this week. I don't care, we got better cheesesteaks than you. Whiz, wit. Represent.
  • Trees comin' down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bayoudegradeable ( 1003768 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:10PM (#37225184)
    This is going to be the first sustained wind even for most areas north of NC. MANY dead and weak branches and trees will be knocked down by Irene. I suspect a mess of power lines are gonna be knocked down. I doubt anyone is in grave peril here (it's too perilous!). But millions of folks will spend the weekend and longer without power. Trust a bayou dweller; get the stinky stuff out'cha freezer and fridge. After 3 days it gets nasty. Good luck.
  • Getting a clue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:14PM (#37225206) Homepage

    What Category the storm is when it hits NYC is NOT the big issue. Wind damage is not what they are worried about. The size of the storm surge is the issue. NYC has an enormous amount of underground infrastructure. If water starts spilling into the subway system in quantity, the results would be catastrophic. See Chicago Flood, multiply by 1000.

  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:21PM (#37225240)

    Here's a photo of the devastation [] resulting from Tuesday's earthquake in Washington DC

  • subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Legion303 ( 97901 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:21PM (#37225246) Homepage

    "the cities coastal areas"

    This is what journalism has come to. Writers who can't fucking write.

    • "the cities coastal areas"

      This is what journalism has come to. Writers who can't fucking write.

      What, are you 12? Anyone can make a typo, especially one that passes spell-check. You want to blame anyone, blame the editors it's their job to catch those things.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      LOL. You beat me to it. Our educational system is producing politically correct idiots.

      I went back to school about a decade ago and the level of knowledge of the students shocked me. In the English classes I took 90 percent of the students couldn't write an intelligible sentence. They didn't know how to spell, how to use punctuation, or understand subject/verb agreement. They also couldn't deal with homophones such as: they're/their/there, are/our, your/you're, heel/heal, cite/site, right/write, cell/s

  • by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:58PM (#37225392)

    I was working in World Trade Center #1, on the 95th floor, during the nor'easter of 1992, which if I recall was the remains of a hurricane. It was quite an intense experience; we had the space-saving "rolling file cabinets" that were rolling back and forth on their own, with one finally derailing and spilling files onto the floor (guess who had the job of cleaning it up). Bathroom stall doors were opening and closing by themselves, you could hear a definite creaking from inside the walls, and they were always shutting down the express elevator due to flex.

    The thing that was really wild, though, and sadly not to be seen again, was looking out the window and being able to easily make out the other tower swaying as well. I had to keep telling myself "the buildings are designed for's okay!" until it was time to go home.

    • by ajs ( 35943 ) < minus berry> on Saturday August 27, 2011 @03:25AM (#37225988) Homepage Journal

      I had a similar experience in Boston one year. I was on the 40th floor of One Boston Place, near city hall, and there was a pretty bad wind storm moving through. We get those from time to time... just a freak burst of 60 mph winds with little or no storm associated. It's rare, but it happens.

      Anyway, the building was swaying and during the course of the day two things happened which I found amusing. First, we had one of those big green LED signs with news tickers scrolling over it. It was suspended from the ceiling by two cables and it was swinging back and forth dramatically. A co-worker had been looking at it somewhat queasily, and asked, "why is it moving so much?" In retrospect, she was looking for a comforting answer. I just thought about it for a second and gave her the most logical answer I could think of: "It's not." That took her a second to process and then she looked very unhappy.

      The other thing that happened was kind of unnerving to me. I was sitting in my chair, working on some code, and I stood up to get something. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor. I tried to get up again, and bang, I was on the floor again. My inner ear had just given up, but I had no idea until I tried to stand. It was odd because I'd spent years around the ocean, and never got sea sick or even a touch nauseous, but in this building I was incapacitated for a short time... no other symptoms, just the complete lack of balance.

  • I can't speak for most. I can speak for the ten or twelve of us who compared notes at work today over the snark. Sure, we're being flip. But there's no sense being stupid. Things I'm doing which we all thought seemed like a good plan:

    1) Remembering that the winds aren't a big deal.
    2) Being happy I live in a high spot, so rather than evacuating:
    3) Stockpiling water (1-liter thermoplastic seltzer bottles ftw)
    4) Freezing some of those (thermal inertia ftw if we lose power, plus, tasty cold water)
    5) Making

  • My office is in evacuation zone 'a' about a block from the beach on Staten Island. Shut down my PCs and put them on my desk just in case the place floods...

    I'm thinking this is likely going to be just a normal storm by the time it hits us, nothing major, some downed trees and powerlines. Kind of like what happened during the huge blizzards we had this past winter except without all the ice and snow. I'm moving my car away from under the trees so they don't crash on it but other than that I'm not to concerne

  • Hurricane Fatigue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beadfulthings ( 975812 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:26AM (#37225542) Journal

    I have a strong case of it, and the storm isn't supposed to hit here (Maryland) until Sunday at dawn. Thus far, I've been treated to:
    1) CNN showing the idiots surfing at Wrightsville Beach, NC. Why encourage it?
    2) An interview of some guy from the Discovery Channel with a supposedly hurricane-proof automobile.
    3) An ever increasing national media frenzy replete with dramatic, spooky music and lots of interviews with people whose opinions don't count for much.
    4) As the storm has decreased in power (so they can't rave about how Katrina-like it is), they've begun speculating about what the poor, benighted, ignorant citizens of New York will actually DO if they're stuck in their apartments for two or three days.
    5) An absolutely jaw-dropping interview with Candidate Ron Paul who opines that we should go back to the way hurricanes were handled in 1900. He hails from Galveston, where the most destructive hurricane ever recorded happened in 1900. In other words, he wants the states to help out with funeral pyres so affected cities can burn their dead without Federal intervention.

    Since I live in an area that gets the backlash of at least one good hurricane a year, here's what I've done to (gasp) protect myself:
    1) Listened to the governor and the state emergency people, as well as the local weather forecasts.
    2) Bought gas and hit the ATM.
    3) Laid in a good supply of food and snacks that don't need to be cooked--sandwich materials, fruit, cheese, cookies. Likewise laid in a bit of beer. And dry dog food for the dog. Bottled water for self and dog.
    4) Frozen up the picnic ice to add to the freezer if the electricity goes out.
    5) Made a mental note to charge everything up--laptop, Kindle, iPhone.
    6) Checked the flashlights and re-supplied on candles. The kind that Jewish people burn as memorials (that come in little glass jars) are available at grocery stores and make great, safe emergency candles. Blown the dust off the transistor radio and re-supplied it with fresh batteries.
    7) Gotten out some lightweight cotton clothes because if the power goes out, it will be hot, unbearably humid, and damp.
    8) Put my wellies by the front door.

    The practice of people from different regions comparing their various disasters is ludicrous. If you don't think so, try listening to somebody from North Dakota comparing their flood this year to Katrina. It's not worth bothering with unless you happen to work in emergency services. People begin to sound like idiots after a very short time.

    Tomorrow night, I'll probably go to bed. I'll be awakened by the storm sometime in the middle of the night, at which point I'll lie there and think about Nature's power and all that maudlin crap. Then, if it sounds bad, I'll get up and fill the bathtub with water (so I can flush), make sure the dog is OK, and curl up with a book until the lights go out--at which point I'll switch to my Kindle.

    The only thing I can't do is persuade the dog that it's OK to pee and crap on some newspaper. He's going to be tying himself in knots.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer