As someone who works in Fire and EMS, I’ve gone to my fair share of calls caused by extreme weather. We had a microburst in Freedom last November that caused power outages, inches of rain, winds that knocked down a MASSIVE oak (and took down power lines), and caused the main thoroughfare from Maine to New Hampshire to be shut down for 7 hours. I’ve seen widowmakers (trees that hang on power lines), trampolines scattered into the middle of the road at 3 am, fire station doors that won’t open because we’ve lost power. Basically I thought I’d seen it all, until this came along…Hurricane Irene is on a direct path towards us, estimated to hit us on Sunday and Monday.
I’ve never been in a hurricane before, and clearly didn’t realize the extent of preparations involved until my boss sent out an email detailing what needs to be done before this weekend. Keeping trucks fueled up, understanding how the generators work, learning how to open the garage doors without power, stocking up on water and food at base. So I thought, “If I don’t even know what we’re supposed to prepare for, what are YOU supposed to know about?”
So here’s my hurricane preparedness list for yall. (I’m sure that I will keep adding to it.)
1. Stock up on water. Our apartment water comes from a well, but I’m not sure how that could be affected if we lose power. So we’re stocking up on water bottles and some ice. If we lose power, our fridge will go down. Spoiled food makes me sad.
2. Stocking up on/charging batteries, radios, pagers and rescue lights. All of our flashlights require a charge, so they’re all going on the chargers tonight. Our fire department radios are also getting charged, as well as cell phones.
3. Snacks! If we do get hit, we’re going to be out on calls with the fire departments, and between you and me, the Fireman gets a littttttle bit grumpy when hes hungry. But then again, so do I.
4. Gotta keep the cars fueled up in case we can’t get to a gas station.
5. I don’t know if we have a generator in our building, so that is something that we need to figure out soon.
6. Keeping boots, hats, rain coats, radios, etc by the front door. Pretty self explanatory there.
7. Extra clothes packed in the car: sweatshirts, jeans, lots of socks, rain boots, hats. If I’m out, I’m going to be getting wet and cold…with the way I’m feeling already, I don’t need to add anymore stress to my immune system.
When I was on Weather.com, I found this fact:
“Going back to 1851, there have been only 5 hurricanes whose centers of circulation have passed within 75 miles of New York City. The last hurricane within that distance from New York City was Hurricane Gloria 26 years ago. Similarly, only 10 hurricanes since 1851 have passed within 75 miles of Boston. The most recent was almost exactly 20 years ago: Hurricane Bob.”
I have a feeling its going to be a interesting weekend…