Advance Preparation

We're not under any watches or warnings -- not thunderstorm, not wind, not flooding and not hurricane.

But Irene is coming.

She's not the hurricane of the century. She's no Katrina-Rita one-two punch. So far, she's actually remarkably similar to Gloria back in '85. Gloria resulted in sustained 80 mph winds in New Jersey and mangled the shoreline, but wasn't too-too bad in this area.

I'm not panicking, nor am I acting the least bit concerned, really. Matthew is a little storm-shy, and if he picks up on any sense of tension or urgency in me, he'll be a basket-case for the next 4 days.

There's a Location Link waaaay on down at the bottom of the post so you can see where our house is in this mess.
And in any case, there's no real reason for panic. Right now the storm path doesn't look too bad for us. There's sort of a Good Side and a Bad Side of a hurricane to be on. I'm not sure why this is, and I'm not in the mood to Google it right now (since I should be outside gathering pool toys into the garage), but if you find out, be sure to let me know. Of course, the storm could track more to our left and then we'd get smacked.

Back in 2003 (that's the second time I've said "Back in ." What am I? This guy?). Anyway, back in 2003, when hurricane Isabel hit, we were new to this whole coastal living thing. We'd only been here two years and had no idea what to expect. I took normal storm precautions (moved most refrigerator food to the freezer in the basement and bought several gallons of fresh water) and we did just fine. The power was out for four days from Isabel and some major trees around here broke like toothpicks. The storm didn't even pass through here, formally. It hit near Virginia Beach. But, we were on the Bad Side of the storm, so the effects were worse. Or something.

This time it looks like we'll be on the Good Side of the storm as she makes her way up the coast intent on destroying New York and/or Boston.

Still, we're taking basic precautions. There's a list here of what to do and when to do it. All the loose stuff outside will be shedded or garaged. I'm buying some water and making sure I know where the flashlights and batteries are. I'm going to fully charge all our portable electronics. Any food I can move to our subzero freezer will be moved there sometime on Saturday and we won't open the freezer again once the power goes out (I see a power outage as an inevitability, not a possibility). I'm going to make sure both cars are gassed up in case of the (extremely unlikely) event of an evacuation.

I don't think it's going to be that bad here, though. We're not planning to plywood our windows, for example. I don't know. Maybe we should, but we aren't planning to. I don't think we'll flood here, either. We're about 108 feet above sea level here and three miles from the nearest river, which a pretty long distance from water in this part of South Jersey. Our biggest danger personally will be falling branches and trees.

So, off I go to rally my troops in (calm and careful) storm preparation mode. And if I'm not online for awhile come the weekend, you'll know why.

[UPDATE: Hurricane Watch now in effect through Friday, 2:00a.m. when I presume it will become a Hurricane Warning. A Watch is 48 hrs in advance, a Warning is 36 hrs in advance. The onset of Tropical Storm conditions is likely to begin Saturday afternoon.]

[UPDATE: Hurricane Watch now in effect through Thursday, 11p.m. Irene is now 3 hours closer to us?!?]


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