Thursday, October 25, 2012

Storm Looking More Probable

Hurricane Sandy slammed into Cuba during the night with 100+ mph winds. The storm is currently moving north.

While the U.S. GFS model and its various versions continue to take the storm into the Atlantic, the other models bring the hurricane inland. The question is where.

There is some clustering of the models into the DelMarVa area and the models that bring the storm's center into that region are all quite strong with winds of 70 mph or more. Think in terms of the June derecho and add coastal flooding, river flooding and a larger geographic area and you get an idea of how many problems this storm may cause.

If you live in a coastal county from Norfolk to Boston (a landfall farther north would give you more time), it is time to get to work on preparations. Here is what I recommend:

  • Get prescriptions refilled now, especially if you doctor must approve the refill. 
  • Vote. If the stronger models are correct, power could still be out in some paces on election day. Regardless, that is one less thing you will need to do.
  • If you have considered getting a generator, now would be a good time to do it, but get started today so you have time to have an electrician do the installation. Generators should not be self-installed.
  • If you don't have a generator, get a power inverter or two. Radio Shack and similar stores sell them. They are a "poor man's generator" and will keep your cell phone, laptop, and similar charged.
  • Keep your car's gas tank full. 

If you have airline travel planned through this region Monday-Tuesday, it could well be disrupted. The problem is that the airlines have not yet issued waivers, so it is going to be tough to get them to switch your flight. Your best bet would be to get the airline to switch hubs. For example, assume you have a flight to London via NYC (Delta) or DC-IAD (United). Get them to switch you to connecting through Atlanta or Chicago, respectfully. But, until waivers are issued, this will likely involve an extra fee. Here is my Airline Crisis Survival Guide. Read it now.

These are all low-cost preparations you can take now. I'd love to be wrong about the threat but, if I am, there is nothing here that is high cost or that you will not eventually use (gasoline and a prescription). By taking these precautions now, you will be well ahead if the worst occurs.

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