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Hurricane Irene Likely (60-70%)


Ilaine
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Food suggestions, or other suggestions? NOAA has a good, albeit really frightening, preparedness guide that lists things to do here (scroll down). I'm hoping it veers out to sea and we just get rain. I really don't want to disassemble my garden plant supports.

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Stock water and nonperishable food (same as for earthquakes).

Locate batteries for radios and flashlights.

Secure outside items (trash cans, grills).

Clear out outside drains that may have leaves, etc. clogging them.

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If you're interested in a voice of reason, my family has been in Florida for generations, and I grew up there and spent part of my adult life there as well, so I'm somewhat hurricane jaded. My most recent hurricane was in the 2004 Season of Four Hurricanes. It was the third to hit us, and I had a brie en croûte with homemade piquin jelly in the oven, and it was not quite brown enough when the power went out. We also had to listen to the remainder of the football game on the battery-powered radio. It was damned inconvenient.

If they don't tell you to evacuate, it will probably be no more than a royal PITA. You may have to replace a window, restock your fridge, and clean a few branches out of the yard, but if you are prepared, it will be fine.

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We lose power with every storm. So we are eating and drinking everthing we have in the fridge and freezer. We will, and can, walk for food if we must. We have lost too much food in prior storms to do otherwise.

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There is a huge difference between the potential of this storm and most others: it may skim along the coast and then take dead aim for midtown Manhattan. Along the way resorts, towns and communities that have familiarity and experience with hurricanes will be impacted. If it touches New York no one will have an idea of what to do or where to go there. It's already noted that the subways will be down. As I type this they are evacuating Ocean City, MD, Cape May and elsewhere on the Jersey Coast as well as Norfolk (yes, Norfolk starting Saturday AM))-all three of which rarely take a direct hit. In 1893 it was a category one hurricane that struck Coney Island and Rockaway Island, not a category two that took dead aim at Times Square. There has never been a category two that has bore down on populated Manhattan. Ever.

A couple of months ago my wife and I looked at condos on Sand Key in Clearwater Beach (no, we are not moving but they were 60% off their high...). Most had hurricane shutters or at the least, screwholes where something could be secured over a window to protect the interior from 110+ mph winds. Several even claimed 145 mph "resistence."

How many condos on Manhattan Island have hurricane shutters? (It is an island...) Actually how many have plate glass windows with nowhere to hammer the nails for plywood to cover them?

What are the construction standards for sustained wind in a four story structure near, say, Toms River? Or Hoboken? Myrtle Beach? Panama City Beach? Key West? Does local code consider the once every 250 year storm in their standards? Or is the every 250 year storm an every five year storm elsewhere which by necessity mandates a different standard?

We don't know what will happen. We do know that the media greatly benefits from sensationalizing an event. But the tone for this seems in some ways similar to the build up to Katrina: it is different. In the darkest sense it is "special.' Perhaps nightmarishly special.

For everyone reading these words, this is one event not to be dismissive of. I'd like to end my post with a facetious note about stocking wine or something else with humor but I can't. A lot of people are truly scared by what may be coming. I would just feel a bit better if a lot of people who may meet a hurricane for the first time this weekend had experienced one before.

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I would hate to lose what I just put in my freezer from the garden this summer!

Me, too! xcanuck has suffered greatly in this regard as has porcupine, so I shouldn't wring hands too much over modest haul, but spare freezer contains a big bag of sour cherries, two stacks of orange-red tomato sauce and yellow made w yellow plum tomatoes plus four gallon bags of the yellows slow-roasted.

If all it does is rain, please party down at your local farmers market. :mellow:

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There is a huge difference between the potential of this storm and most others: it may skim along the coast and then take dead aim for midtown Manhattan.

I think everyone understands the seriousness of the situation. There are, however, things, and then there are lives. I had dinner with a couple who went into the storm crawl space of their Caribbean home during a hurricane to emerge to nothing but a foundation. You can rebuild your home, but you cannot replace a lost life. If they tell you to evacuate, be smart and get out. If they tell you it is safe to stay, hunker down and make the best of it. The horror stories come from the people who stay when they shouldn't.

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Note to self. Stock up on D batteries when demand is low. They were the first to sell out at my local Safeway and Giant. Apparently the most used.

I would hate to lose what I just put in my freezer from the garden this summer!

More worried about loss of power than anything else. Re: D batteries. Fair Lakes Costco was sold out this evening. Found a few at Fair Lakes Walmart, bottom shelf, way in the back where you almost could not see them. Bought most of them.

Re: water. I detest bottled water. Bought a couple of cases of seltzer water at Fair Lake Walmart. If we don't need it, we can still use it. Also, canned food (tuna, sardines), cat food, kitty litter. We already have canned beans, canned tomatoes, etc.

At Fair Lakes Whole Food, charcoal, peanut butter, bread, fruit, nuts, and beer. And pure beeswax candles, I also detest paraffin candles, although we will use them if we must.

At Total Beverage, more beer. Priorities, yes?

At Vitamin Shoppe, non GMO soy powder and other things for protein shakes.

Thinking that if we lose power we can grill the contents of the freezer, including frozen pizza on a pizza stone. Combine grilled ground beef with canned tomato and canned beans for an ad hoc chili, for one. Also, formerly frozen fish en papilllote.

Nonfood prep: had two trees cut down Monday. Gutter man coming tomorrow. Gutters shook halfway loose by earthquake. Filled up gas tank. Got cash. For Saturday, clear out garage, bring in lawn chairs, fire pit, garbage cans, Earth boxes full of tomato plants, all other plant containers.

Ice maker on high, filling up containers with ice to pack into refrigerator and freezer.

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There is a huge difference between the potential of this storm and most others: it may skim along the coast and then take dead aim for midtown Manhattan.... There has never been a category two that has bore down on populated Manhattan. Ever...

What are the construction standards for sustained wind in a four story structure near, say, Toms River? Or Hoboken? Myrtle Beach? Panama City Beach? Key West? Does local code consider the once every 250 year storm in their standards? Or is the every 250 year storm an every five year storm elsewhere which by necessity mandates a different standard?

We don't know what will happen. We do know that the media greatly benefits from sensationalizing an event. But the tone for this seems in some ways similar to the build up to Katrina: it is different. In the darkest sense it is "special.' Perhaps nightmarishly special.

What are you, shilling for CNN? Talk about sensationalizing!

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Me, too! xcanuck has suffered greatly in this regard as has porcupine, so I shouldn't wring hands too much over modest haul, but spare freezer contains a big bag of sour cherries, two stacks of orange-red tomato sauce and yellow made w yellow plum tomatoes plus four gallon bags of the yellows slow-roasted.

Do you know the water bottle trick? Take whatever empty plastic containers you have, fill them with water, then fill up all the space in the freezer with those bottles. If you make your freezer a solid chunk of ice, it will hold a lot longer - days even.

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Excerpted from the National Weather Service (statement for Montgomery County, MD):

"... Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect...

... Probability of tropical storm/hurricane conditions...

there is little chance for hurricane conditions at this time.

Also... the chance for tropical storm conditions at this time is

60 percent. This represents a general steady trend since the last

forecast. The onset of tropical storm conditions could start as

early as Saturday evening.

... Winds...

as Hurricane Irene approaches... sustained tropical storm force

winds are expected to begin early Saturday evening. Maximum winds

are forecast to be in the 30 to 40 mph range with gusts to

45 mph.

Minor damage may occur to older Mobile homes.

... Inland flooding...

a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area"

Being prepared for an emergency is always a good thing, but it doesn't seem like panic is warranted.

(MrP's idea of emergency preparedness includes installing a propane fueled whole house generator. So unless the earthquake cracked the propane line... )

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I'll keep an eye on the track, but I'm not terribly worried about anything except a power outage at this point. I'll move the patio chairs and hammock inside and tie down the table and grill, get some buckets of water set aside for toilet flushing needs, bring the big tarp in from the shed to the basement just in case I get a broken window from a limb or something flying around. Food prep for me will be minimal -- the fridge is almost empty anyway, as is the freezer, so I'll get a bag or so of general purpose stable foods and water and call it good. The worst part will be mornings without coffee if the power blows. Maybe I should add a couple of Red Bulls to the list.

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We are balancing panic with a hint of practicality. I hope.

I did not stock up on perishables at the farmers market yesterday. We have water. I will get more. We have canned goods. I will charge all the electronic devices.

And then hope.

I did defrost some wonderful lamb chops for dinner tonight-iit was the only thing in the freezer I would be sad if we lost.

Need more wine....

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Do you know the water bottle trick? Take whatever empty plastic containers you have, fill them with water, then fill up all the space in the freezer with those bottles. If you make your freezer a solid chunk of ice, it will hold a lot longer - days even.

Possessing about a dozen dozen plastic containers from Blue Ridge Dairy, I would never have thought of that myself :mellow: --thanks for great tip!

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Has anyone spotted small battery-powered lanterns? I have a few small flashlights but am not a big fan of candles. The lantern would also gelittleman and I to play some games to pass the time.

Target was all out of flashlights, almost out of batteries and no water left on the shelves. CVS had batteries, but no water and flashlight (Farragut North and Ballston locales).

Weird...

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Has anyone spotted small battery-powered lanterns? I have a few small flashlights but am not a big fan of candles. The lantern would also gelittleman and I to play some games to pass the time.

Target was all out of flashlights, almost out of batteries and no water left on the shelves. CVS had batteries, but no water and flashlight (Farragut North and Ballston locales).

Weird...

Try Army surplus and REI, Hudson Outfitters, etc. for lanterns & lantern supplies.

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(MrP's idea of emergency preparedness includes installing a propane fueled whole house generator. So unless the earthquake cracked the propane line... )

Mr. P should meet my Dad, who also has a whole house generator. They could share tips.

Anyone have a good recipe for cold water coffee?

2 ounces of coffee in 1 quart of water. Allow to sit 8 - 12 hours, then add various adulterants as necessary. I like ice, simple syrup, and half-and-half.

If it makes anyone feel better, Mr. lperry got called about an hour ago, and is now out with the emergency preparedness crews photographing tree cutting and transformer unloading. This should be easier than the giant snowstorms - at least once the storm passes, crews can get right in.

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Yeah, but what do I do with a ginormous chocolate cheesecake I made yesterday for a party that has been cancelled?

Awaiting my invite! ;-)

Might I recommend a few friends and a bottle of El Dorado 15yo rum (full disclosure blah blah blah)?

Mmm...what a great suggestion!

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Has anyone spotted small battery-powered lanterns? I have a few small flashlights but am not a big fan of candles. The lantern would also gelittleman and I to play some games to pass the time.

Target was all out of flashlights, almost out of batteries and no water left on the shelves. CVS had batteries, but no water and flashlight (Farragut North and Ballston locales).

Weird...

I got a small plastic battery-powered lantern at Crate and Barrel a few months ago. Not sure if it's what you're looking for and I don't see a photo of it online.

We don't usually lose power since our lines are underground, but getting the robocall from Pepco saying to be prepared to be without power for a few days hasn't inspired confidence in me.

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I realized I have no flashlights, save for a 'snake' & a camping headlight thing, I scrubbed out the giant orange water cooler (like you see on the sidelines) to store water, & got tp & paper towels because I needed them.

I'm hoping for a non-event-my mom lives in Sneads Ferry, NC, right on the waterway (they've evacuated Topsail Beach) & she just replaced her HVAC stuff (terrible timing). If we lose power here, I have enough stuff, & camp stoves & propane, to feed the neighborhood for a week-I'd welcome the chance to clean out the frig, freezer, & pantry. Stay safe out there, folks... :mellow:

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Leaving tonight for a baby shower in Western Maryland. Hope I can get home Sunday night or Monday morning. Luckily I don't have to be in court Monday. Hubby is in Minnesota for a wedding flying back in early tomorrow morning, I assume that flight is going to get cancelled and I will see him Monday, as well.

Chocolate Cheesecake would be a great addition to our party!!!

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Strosniders often has supplies when the rest of the major stores don't.

Now to find my battery powered fan...

Dame Edna came home this afternoon and said there was a line to get into Bruce's Variety that was out the door. The Adams Morgan Harris Teeter was a little busier at noon today than usual, buy no apparent panic buying. I guess it's because we don't suffer the kind of power outages that the burbs do--our powerlines are underground. :mellow:

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I am waiting out Hurricane Irene in Miami. My friends down here appreciate the irony. Their high priority recommendation? Take a hot shower before the storm arrives.

This is great advice. Hot water and power look like they're going to be the primary issues here now. But the storm still looks nasty as hell.

I'm torn on how well DC residents are prepping. On one hand I'm still slightly traumatized from my trip to the City Vista Safeway yesterday. On the other hand, Irene let my gf and I walk into Beck at 6:30 on a Friday night and have our choice of seats at the bar.

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Mt. Pleasant Market jammed -- we yuppies and hispters will survive on crusty bread, organic corn and heirloom tomatoes.

The USA Today/Tivoli Square development at 14th Park had the air of one of those barnyards where the animals sense a storm a-comin' -- a little more energy and a lot more crowded than you often see on a Saturday morning, and the demographics again skewed more towards local yuppies buying cat food than the folks who metro in for the discount household items.

Off to Weygant's to stock up on storm supplies -- red and white.

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This is great advice. Hot water and power look like they're going to be the primary issues here now. But the storm still looks nasty as hell.

The fact that our gas water heater and gas stove top continued to operate the last time we lost power for more than a week (Hurricane Isabel?) was the only thing that made the experience almost bearable. Wine helped, too, of course. :mellow:

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We all took hot showers, thank you, Heather.

And instead of filling the bathtub, per se, put ginormous plastic garden trugs in the bathtub and filled those with water. The updated suggestion on bathtubs, from friends down in Louisiana, is to use a clean plastic garbage can saved just for this purpose, as bathtubs leak over time. We don't have a clean plastic garbage can but do have the trugs. Good enough for bathroom use.

Filled a gazillion plastic Chinese takeout containers with water and froze them, and they are now lined up in the freezer doors. Thank you, China Star and Hong Kong Palace. Husband mocked me for saving them. Ha.

Freezers packed with ice. Thank you, lperry.

All flashlights, lanterns, batteries, candles collected on the dining room table. Digital camera charging, in case we need to take photos for insurance claims.

Even if all for nought, such a nice break from worrying about politics and economy, which I can do nothing about. I feel a sense of purpose.

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A good night for that pot of chili I made. Ready for the inevitable blackout that I'm predicting to happen at 11:47 - fresh batteries in the flashlights, lots of ice in the freezer, plenty of food and drink, etc.

But if Channel 7 makes me miss Bristol because of the round the clock hurricane coverage, I'm gonna be PISSED!

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Public Service Message: be VERY careful if resorting to candles if the power goes out. We lost our house and everything in it a few years ago from a candle fire. On April Fool's Day. Would not want any of you to go through that.

Now my question - why do people buy vegetables when storms threaten? Really - they want to eat all the broccoli that Harris Teeter has to offer?

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