Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Hurricane Sandy Emergency Kit

Forecasters are saying that Hurricane Sandy will be the most catastrophic event — that we can plan for — that we have ever experienced. Most of us in the Northeast remember the media sensationalism just 14 months ago when Hurricane Irene passed through and it was nowhere near as severe as predicted. Consequently, lots of people aren’t taking Sandy seriously and are ignoring calls to get prepared, evacuate coastal low-lying areas (parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn included). But we are heeding the warnings and are prepared. We’re ready. We’ve got booze, diapers, water, canned food, snacks, flashlights, a radio, batteries, snacks, almond milk, and chocolate. Not pictured: a big pot of chili. And nerves of steel. Steel, I tell you!

The eye of the storm is forecasted to hit us at 8:30 EST and with the worst of it lasting 12 hours. I will try to update here or in the forums — with photos if I get them — for anyone interested. And those of you also in the northeast — I know there are lots of you — please feel free to check in and share your stories. If this storm is really as bad as people are predicting, it’s gonna be crazy. Hunker down, cuddle up with your loved ones, and stay safe!!

(I do have regularly-scheduled posts lined up for today and tomorrow, fyi, but may pop in periodic storm updates… Also, if we lose electricity, I may not be able to post stuff later in the week. We’ll just see how this plays out. They’ve got us really wound up in the Northeast thinking this is the apocalypse. It’s getting spooky outside!).

139 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Tax Geek October 29, 2012, 9:03 am

    Stay safe.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 9:05 am

    Hope everyone stays safe! I’ve seen a lot of pictures from home (SE Virginia) and it’s crazy. The bridge I used to drive over to get to and from work was basically covered in water last night. I’ll be sending good thoughts up that way! 🙂

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 9:47 am

      also does anyone else have a slight crush on jim cantore? although he is a wee bit intense, haha.

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      • avatar

        Bethany October 29, 2012, 9:57 am

        LOVE Cantore!!

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        MsMisery October 29, 2012, 1:18 pm

        I can’t! He looks just like a kid (well, GUY) I grew up with, so all I can see is that kid when we were five.

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary October 29, 2012, 9:09 am

    I took my vacation/staycation days for Mon-Wed (planned this a while ago) and they closed my work anyways. Derp. For now I’m stuck at my parents house in PA because there is a 100% chance I won’t have power in DC metro area. We lose power when a cat sneezes too much.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:38 am

      Well, at least you get to save those vacation days and use them later! (These days better not count as vacation because the office is closed!)

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    • avatar

      MissDre October 29, 2012, 9:45 am

      Damn, I wish my office was closed! I’m up in Ottawa, Canada though so we’re only expected to get some wind and a lot of rain. Although other parts of Ontario are supposed to get it pretty bad…

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  • mandalee

    mandalee October 29, 2012, 9:09 am

    Stay safe Wendy and everyone else! I’m outside of Boston and right now we have some street flooding and lots of wind so far. Some electricity is out in nearby towns but we’re okay here so far. I saw pictures from the Maryland coastline where I used to live, it’s been pretty devastating so far.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay October 29, 2012, 9:13 am

    My roommate’s cat and I are hunkering down in Brooklyn (my roommate got put up in a hotel by her company in Manhattan because she HAD to go to work today). I can work from home, which is good in some ways, but it’d be kind of nice to have a free day. Plenty of DW time, though, I suppose. 🙂 Good luck, everyone!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 29, 2012, 9:35 am

      Drew’s work offered to put him up in a hotel and he declined. If things get really ugly he wouldn’t want to be unable to get home to us.

      Where in Brooklyn are you? We’re in Prospect Heights, so no worry of flooding, but we could lose some trees.

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      • avatar

        Lindsay October 29, 2012, 10:10 am

        Good call on Drew’s part. I’d much rather be stuck at home than sitting in a hotel (especially if I had a family!).

        I live in South Park Slope. So, no flooding for me, either, but it’s hard for me to tell whether any of the trees behind my place are close enough to worry about. Hope all yours stay upright!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark October 29, 2012, 4:18 pm

        I always am so haunted by the destruction of trees in all these extreme weather scenarios. Mother Nature lately revels in being a complete and total bitch lately. “Take that, ancient Oak Tree, Ha ha ha ha!” I dunno, it just makes me so very sad.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 5:38 pm

        it’s sad and kind of interesting (obviously not the human impacts!) because in a lot of ways hurricanes have similar effects on ecosystems as fire does. what we see as destruction is often a way of new life forming. obviously like i said the human impacts aren’t included in that.

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  • avatar

    Friend of Beagles October 29, 2012, 9:15 am

    I’m in Maryland in one of the communities that was hit by Irene when she was a Category 1, and now Sandy’s supposed to bring the same treatment. Dude, not cool. So far it’s just been rain, which sounds not so bad, except when the winds come (as they are supposed to later today), the trees and ground are wet enough to start letting go. Timber! We’ll see how this all plays out. And Kerrycontrary, you are not kidding about the ease of power loss around the DC area. We were told that (a) power will go out at some point and (b) don’t expect it back before election day. *sadface*

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  • avatar

    Amanda October 29, 2012, 9:24 am

    Stay safe everyone! I live pretty far inland in Pittsburgh, so I’m hopeful that it won’t get too bad here. But worst case scenario, I have 50 bottles of wine, two growlers of beer and lots of smoked white bean hummus, so we can ride out the storm comfortably.

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    • avatar

      llclarityll October 29, 2012, 10:57 am

      Hey fellow Yinzer! I, too, have lots of booze left over from my halloween party. I wonder how bad it’ll get here? I keep reading mixed reviews.

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  • katie

    katie October 29, 2012, 9:33 am

    im in chicago, i just heard on the radio that lake michigan is supposed to get 31 ft waves tonight!! dang!!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:36 am

      I predict two idiots will decide to head out to the lake path and get swept up in the waves. (I mean, God, I hope not, but I’m just saying there are always at least two idiots in every storm.)

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    • avatar

      MsMisery October 29, 2012, 1:20 pm

      Chicago here, too. I wonder if those lake surfers are going to try to be all gnarly. It seems kinda cold, though. Oh, and batshitcrazy.

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    • avatar

      Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:01 pm

      Wow! Lake Erie is acting up outside my place, but not that badly! We should do a forum post with Sandy weather pictures =) Stay safe, warm and buzzed everyone.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:34 am

    Stay safe, Northeast Coasters! Wendy, I’m worried for you – I don’t see any red wine or cheetos. God forbid the storm is as bad as they say it is and you are stranded for DAYS without those staples. I am praying for you.

    P.S. I CLOSE ON A CONDO TO-FUCKING-DAY. I AM SCARED! EXCITED, YES, BUT ALSO SCURRRRRRRRRED! WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?!

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    • katie

      katie October 29, 2012, 9:35 am

      yay condo!!!

      id be scared too. dont worry.

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    • avatar

      Amanda October 29, 2012, 9:37 am

      Congratulations Addie! Closing day on your home is so exciting!It’s going to be great 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:45 am

        I am looking forward to my Closing Day plans tonight: Friends are coming over to get drunk in the middle of my empty living room. CHICAGOANS, you are all invited! Bring your own booze, cup, and folding chair. I’ll supply a few pizzas, and 1800 sq. feet of floor.

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      • avatar

        Jillie z October 29, 2012, 10:31 am

        Congrats Addie! Let’s toast and then run down to see the waves up close :). Maybe we’ll be on tv!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 10:41 am

        Brilliant, Jillie z!

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl October 29, 2012, 12:45 pm

        i do need to a get in a run tonight prior to ‘break in the condo with redwine”

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 29, 2012, 9:37 am

      Congrats, AP!! That’s so exciting!

      As for the red wine shortage, I OD’d on the stuff a few days ago and am taking a little hiatus. Don’t worry, I will survive somehow.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:50 am

        Hey, the next time you are in town, you and your whole family can stay Chez AP – I HAVE GUESTROOMS! FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, G U E S T R O O M S!!!!!! What a luxury.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest October 29, 2012, 10:18 am

        YAY! Now you can harass everyone you know to sleep over. Make sure you leave mints on the guest room pillows. Then the guests will come back. Good luck on the closing. I’m at work, trying to settle a case because apparently that’s more important than surviving the hurricane. Hopefully I can skip out of here soon.

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      • theattack

        theattack October 29, 2012, 4:59 pm

        LBH!! Please stay around! I’ve missed you so!

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    • JK

      JK October 29, 2012, 9:38 am

      Yay on the condo!!! I can´t wait for the new home tour!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:47 am

        Thanks!! Right now I’ll just refer you to the redfin listing – except it looks better b/c its staged. Haha.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 9:40 am

      congrats, AP! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 9:48 am

        danke schoen!

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    • avatar

      Bethany October 29, 2012, 9:59 am

      COngrats on the condo!! Just don’t as Texty McTexterson to move in yet! 🙂

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    • avatar

      Rachel October 29, 2012, 10:23 am

      Yay, congrats AP!

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    • SarahKat

      SarahKat October 29, 2012, 12:33 pm

      YAY!! I am so excited for you!!! We need some condo pics ASAP. And also you probably should not have mentioned the guest room thing because I will totally Hayden Panettiere in Ally Mcbeal you and show up at your door needing attention.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 3:44 pm

        It’s a done deal – tonight when I get “home” I’ll pencil you in for Guestroom No. 1.

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      • ScrambledMegss

        ScrambledMegss October 29, 2012, 5:48 pm

        Congrats AP! I’m coming to visit!

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny October 29, 2012, 4:02 pm

      Congratulations, homeowner!

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny October 29, 2012, 4:40 pm

      Yaay, congrats AP! I’m going to have to come back to Chicago and stay in one of your guestrooms! 😉

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  • JK

    JK October 29, 2012, 9:37 am

    I hope everything and everyone is OK. I can only imagine how scary it must be.
    And Wendy, I hope Jackson doesn´t get too scared, my girls freak out at thunderstorms, so I wouldnt even want to imagine in a hurricane.

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  • Classic

    Classic October 29, 2012, 9:58 am

    Love your emergency supplies style! Stay safe, you guys.

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  • avatar

    Bethany October 29, 2012, 10:01 am

    Things in the Philly burbs are ok for now… My husband and I are both home today because our offices closed. My husband is a surfer and friends with a lot of people who are still at the beaches, which means lots of cool/scary photos on Facebook!!

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl October 29, 2012, 12:58 pm

      My parents in the Philly burbs have already lost power 🙁 My work is closed today, but since I work remotely from 900 miles away I just have a free day off!

      Guess I’ll have to get the house cleaned and some wedding things checked off.

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      • avatar

        bethany October 29, 2012, 1:42 pm

        They’re in Chester county, right?

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl October 29, 2012, 2:41 pm

        Yup, but they are pretty far west towards Amish country. It’s not unheard of for us to loose power for 4 to 7 days during big storms or even in the winter during a heavy snow.

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  • katie

    katie October 29, 2012, 10:07 am

    oh! i took a picture with my DW mug last night and put it on instagram and i tagged it with dearwendy and moa- dearwendy tag has 7 pictures, some of cakes (?) and a picture of a movie, looks like a western, named dearwendy. weird, right? and the moa has a ton of pictures of just random people doing stuff. it was weird. haha

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 29, 2012, 10:25 am

      I got it! So cute. Can I post it on Facebook in the mug album?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 29, 2012, 10:41 am

        Yes, yes you may! (I am Katie’s official unofficial spokeswoman.)

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      • katie

        katie October 29, 2012, 11:11 am

        haha, of course!

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    • avatar

      bethany October 29, 2012, 11:30 am

      I checked out your picture and liked it 🙂

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      • katie

        katie October 29, 2012, 1:49 pm

        i have no idea how you stalked my instagram, but im not mad at it… haha. im following you now!

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      • avatar

        bethany October 29, 2012, 3:06 pm

        I just searched for #dearwendy! You were the only one with the mug 🙂

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      • katie

        katie October 29, 2012, 3:34 pm

        haha… that makes perfect sense actually… im still getting the hang of these hashtag thingys. lol

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny October 29, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Ooh, just found it! Cute, Katie!

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      • katie

        katie October 29, 2012, 4:54 pm

        thanks!!

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  • avatar

    Rachel October 29, 2012, 10:19 am

    Stay safe Wendy and everyone else on the east coast! Irene actually did cause a LOT of damage last year to the area I grew up in. It was quite scary, and we were all a little afraid the Susquehanna was going to spill over. Knowing how much rain some areas are likely to get, I hope people really are prepared.

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  • avatar

    Jillie z October 29, 2012, 10:30 am

    Hugs to all you east coast peeps- hope everyone stays snug and safe!

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  • avatar

    j2 October 29, 2012, 10:41 am

    That’s not NEARLY enough chocolate!

    😉

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  • avatar

    Daisy October 29, 2012, 10:42 am

    Stay safe everyone! Maybe it’s masochistic, but I’m kinda wishing I still lived in DC and could have a Monday off for day drinking and shenanigans! Israel has its fair share of issues, but we never really get severe weather.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG October 29, 2012, 10:47 am

    My sister just related that parts of Long Island are flooded and the storm hasn’t touched down yet. Stay safe!

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  • avatar

    Temperance October 29, 2012, 10:51 am

    Be safe! We’ve stocked up on essentials here, too! (By “essentials”, of course, I mean Monster cereal, diet soda, Smart Water (because I got to Target after everyone else did), Vitamin Waters, and lots of fruit leathers.)

    My upstairs neighbors have the liquor and refrigerated food, so we’re doing a swap if we need to, their produce for my beverages.

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  • avatar

    melikeycheesecake October 29, 2012, 11:07 am

    Be so careful!! Praying for everyone!

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  • avatar

    *HmC* October 29, 2012, 11:11 am

    I am Southern California born and raised and I know little about hurricanes. I’m surprised that you can plan to ride out being in the eye for such a long time… I’m surprised they wouldn’t evacuate everyone in the direct path. Sounds scary, but maybe a little exciting too, so long as you feel safe. All the best to everyone going through it!

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    • avatar

      Matcha October 29, 2012, 5:55 pm

      The eye of the storm is the calmest part. 🙂 It’s the part immediately before or after that’s rough, or if you end up on ‘the dirty side’ of the storm (that’s the eastern part of the storm, as wind speed and storm surge is higher there.)

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      • avatar

        *HmC* October 29, 2012, 7:08 pm

        Oh wow, interesting! My thoughts and prayers are with everyone going through Sandy right now. I’m in San Diego and the climate is ridiculously mild, I feel very fortunate.

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      • avatar

        Matcha October 30, 2012, 12:16 am

        Yeah, I’ve heard stories of people mistaking the eye of the hurricane for the end of the storm and going outside to check on damage but getting caught up in the storm. I have a good number of friends on the east coast but all of them have gone through at least one hurricane so I know they’re well-prepared/taking the storm seriously.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady October 29, 2012, 11:18 am

    Smart of you to take the same precautions you did with Irene. Same thing happened to us with Ike. Everyone freaked with Rita – it was just after Katrina – and evacuation was a total nightmare, but then the storm veered last minute and hit east of us. So when Ike was headed toward us, a lot of people assumed it would be another Rita and got in some trouble because they didn’t take it seriously.

    Quick tip: if the power goes out, the moment the rain stops, open all windows and doors that you can. Because it gets so damp, lack of air circulation makes mold grow like wildfire.

    Stay safe!!!

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  • EscapeHatches

    EscapeHatches October 29, 2012, 11:20 am

    Hi everyone –
    I work as an emergency response coordinator for a major City’s Public Works Division. I’m located in AZ, but I’ve been asked to prep to travel East in support of response and recovery efforts. As of right now, FEMA has preemptively declared disasters in basically every state on the Eastern seaboard.

    Please know: All emergency responders expect residents to be ENTIRELY self-sufficient for 72 hours. It will take utilities, Police and Fire that long to dig themselves out and get set up to properly respond, depending on the extent of damage.

    Ready.gov has a lot of great tips about how to pack emergency kits so you can: “be prepared to stay, be prepared to go.” Also – fellow pet owners – don’t forget that planning for your four-legged family members is very important. Many states provide NO support for pets after a disaster. This was made worse after Katrina when first responders risked their lives to save pets that were left behind.

    Plan and prepare! Stay Safe!

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    • avatar

      Marta October 29, 2012, 4:49 pm

      @EscapeHatches – I had never read the entirely self-sufficient for 72 hours bit before. I thought you might like to know that on reading your comment, my husband and I ordered several survival kits to arrive in two days. I imagine as an emergency response coordinator you’re tired of people failing to heed the warnings, so I just wanted you know your comment lead to direct action for this (shamefully) unprepared California family. Thanks!

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      • EscapeHatches

        EscapeHatches October 29, 2012, 6:25 pm

        Haha, yeah – we have to ask for 72 hours because storms have this uncanny ability to bury our truck yards. So we spend a day or two just finding our own asses before we can make headway on others.

        I’m glad you’re getting prepared!!

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  • avatar

    applescruffs October 29, 2012, 11:35 am

    Stay safe, East coasters! You can always come stay with me in Colorado – we shouldn’t be on fire again for at least 8 more months.

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  • avatar

    Morgan October 29, 2012, 11:43 am

    Please don’t say Irene wasn’t as severe as predicted. It wasn’t severe as predicted in NYC, but many people in Vermont and right on the other side of the river in NH lost homes, businesses, everything. And recovery took a very, very long time. Roads and bridges totally washed out. It took a slightly different path than expected, but its severity wasn’t media sensationalism. NYC freaked out a bit, as people unused to something do (see snowpacalypse, DC) and when they were okay, a lot of my NY friends kept going on about how Irene was nothing, what a joke, posting dumb memes about the “devastation,” while I was in Vermont looking at real devastation to some communities.

    But anyway. Please don’t underestimate the effects of a hurricane just because it doesn’t affect you. Sandy has already killed 60 people; this is already a devastating storm for someone.

    (P.S. This isn’t trying to call you out, Wendy. But all those same people are again on facebook posting about how this storm will be a joke just like Irene, so I’m feeling a tad rant-y.)

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 29, 2012, 12:49 pm

      You’re totally right. Insensitive of me! Here in NYC, Irene was no big deal and people felt like the media sensationalized the destruction that was predicted for us. In other places, of course, the damage of Irene was severe and is still being dealt with.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster October 29, 2012, 11:00 am

    Check out this picture of Red Hook (Brooklyn) on the water. It’s already flooded:

    I’m in Zone C on the LES in Manhattan, which hopefully won’t see any flooding. We’re pretty close to the river, though. It doesn’t seem too bad out… I’m sure we’ll be fine- we have lots of Spagetti-Os and booze. 🙂

    STAY SAFE EVERYBODY!

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    • avatar

      Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:04 pm

      Holy wow!

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  • Diablo

    Diablo October 29, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Best wishes to Wendy and family, and everyone who may be affected by the storm. Keep safe!

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  • the_optimist

    the_optimist October 29, 2012, 11:02 am

    We’re in Queens, so not close to the water but surrounded by dozens of swaying trees. It’s a little bit terrifying, but we have tons and tons of canned food, chocolate, ice cream, movies, books and a Meyer’s candle if the sh*t goes down. Stay safe everyone!!

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  • avatar

    stilgar666 October 29, 2012, 12:12 pm

    That is not enough.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy October 29, 2012, 12:49 pm

      Don’t worry. There’s more booze.

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  • SarahKat

    SarahKat October 29, 2012, 12:41 pm

    I am so worried for all of you!! Everyone has to stay safe and keep updating us when they can! I read somewhere that a person needs a gallon of water a day, so make sure you guys have tons of water. And books.

    Also, and this might not be an issue for you guys because I only have experience with earthquakes, but when we have an earthquake, we keep smelling for gas spills near our house and street. I realize fires probably aren’t the biggest issue right now lol, but even so, a gas spill can make things much more complicated!

    Be safe!!

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    • avatar

      painted_lady October 29, 2012, 1:35 pm

      Actually, that’s pretty accurate, at least in what little experience I have with hurricanes. Downed power lines or blown transformers or other things have started major fires in the last two hurricanes to hit south Texas. And if something catches fire, the chances that it’ll burn to the ground are pretty high simply because the fire department is unable to respond.

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    • call-me-hobo

      call-me-hobo October 29, 2012, 6:04 pm

      A gallon of water per person AND pet per day!

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  • thewriteway

    thewriteway October 29, 2012, 1:04 pm

    I live in PA, and my part of the state has been told to get ready for up to two weeks without power. It could be worse for me, but it’s also a freaking nightmare because I work from home and I’m a contract employee. The longer I can’t work means a pretty big loss of income. I’m nervous about that. But right now, it’s just windy with a little rain…supposed to get worse later tonight though.

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    • avatar

      temperance October 29, 2012, 8:47 pm

      My mom and some of my NEPA friends got phone calls last night to expect to be powerless for a week, if they lose power. So far, they are okay (my FMIL has been texting me all night out of boredom, LOL), but I’m worried. I hope your power stays up! I’ve been checking PECO’s site like a fiend!

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  • Snaphappy

    ginevrah October 29, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I’m in NYC for my fall break, and this makes it more of an exciting trip than I thought it’d be! My boyfriend and his roommates (and…everyone else I know) are all working from home. We’re not in an evacuation zone, so hopefully it won’t be TOO bad. But the news on twitter/online is getting pretty scary. Hope everyone stays safe (and dry)!

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  • avatar

    MsMisery October 29, 2012, 1:23 pm

    My bff lives in Virginia (in Navy housing, though I can’t remember which one). She says it’s been raining there for the better part of a week, and her kids’ school is canceled today. It isn’t as bad there as they thought (this is her first hurricane, though, so she stocked up like crazy). It’s just been raining non-stop.

    All the east coast offices for my company are closed, so not much in MY department is getting done because that’s where our IT and servers live. Maybe if they crash we get to go home…

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson October 29, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Stay safe everyone! I have some really dumb questions. I know there’s no such thing – but in this case it’s true. So even though I have lived in the midwest for years (tornado alley) I have somehow always managed to avoid my power going out. No clue why. One specific tornado the whole town was shut down and without power for about 9 days – but not me. So what exactly in the house does that affect? Like can you take a shower? Can you use the stove? Obviously that means the lights and tv would go out… but what else happens?

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 1:35 pm

      it depends on a few things. if you have city water and an electric water heater you can flush toilets and take a cold shower. if you have a gas water heater you can take a warm shower. if you have an electric stove there’s no cooking, but once again if you have gas you can cook. but, basically power being out means nothing in your house works at all.

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    • EscapeHatches

      EscapeHatches October 29, 2012, 1:37 pm

      I’ll try to answer this one, as you’re barking right at my industry. So the scenario: Majority of a town is sans power except a few pockets (i.e. your house) I’m assuming you’re not on alternate power (generators/solar).

      Can you take a shower? Yes. Assuming your town’s water utility (or your home’s well) is operational you’ll have water. Pressure may be sketchy, etc. but unless your utility issues a “do not use” or a “do not drink” notice you’re good to go. If the power is out at your home, you’ll often still have running water but be unable to heat it. Even with a “do not drink” notice, you can still shower and do laundry.

      Can you use the stove? Yes, if your stove is gas. If your stove is electric, and your power is off, you’re screwed. If your stove is gas – similar to the above comment, if your gas provider is back online, go for it! Be sure to check that your pilot light is not electrically maintained – you may want to turn the gas off when not in use.

      Things you won’t have in a major power outage: lights, air conditioning, internet, cell service (depends on how severe the damage is, most towers have generators), no TV, all electric appliances will be non-functional (fridges, freezers, stoves, ovens, etc.). A truly massive outage may take down water supplies, too.

      Things you MIGHT have (if you have gas at your house): heating, stoves, ovens, clothes dryer, water heater.

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      • avatar

        Meg Murry October 29, 2012, 2:04 pm

        Most gas stoves have electric ignitors, so you’ll have to light it with a match to get the fire going. Along the same lines, most gas furnaces have electric blowers and electric thermostats, so even if the gas is still on, without power there won’t be heat.

        Also be aware that even if you have a generator or solar panels to provide you with electricity to run the gas furnace blower, etc – if the power outage is widespread enough, the pumps that pressurize natural gas lines will probably go down and after 2-3 days there won’t be enough back pressure to provide natural gas to your house.

        So if there is an evacuation order for your area and you think you can ride it out because you have natural gas and a generator – think again. If you are ordered to leave, LEAVE. PSA over.

        (note – written to the generic “you” not “you” as in the posters above)

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      GatorGirl October 29, 2012, 2:49 pm

      One of the biggest plus sides to knowing you’re going to be out of power for a few days is you get to eat all the ice cream in the freezer in one sitting 🙂

      Longest I’ve ever been with out power was just over 7 days. We used buckets of water from our pool to flush the toilets (you fill up the tank in the back with the bucket and it works, at least it did on our farm). We also ate a lot of soup on our little gas camping stove. For some reason we don’t lose power here in FL (well in the year and a half I’ve lived here) which I find surprising.

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      • theattack

        theattack October 29, 2012, 4:33 pm

        We had a big ice storm in the 90s that knocked out all the power for two weeks at Christmas, and we had all of my extended family in town (think 30 people in a small four bedroom house). Mom and I still managed to cook a big Christmas dinner using the propane heaters as a stove top plus our propane camping stoves. We even baked cakes and pies in our homemade box ovens. It was really fun even though it was pretty crazy.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny October 29, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I’m glad you guys are being safe. All my family on the shore are being buttheads and not evacuating, and I’m pretty much gnawing on the walls right now worrying about them and trying not to put up facebook statuses about how worried about them I am, but they’re right in the path of the storm and keep posting pictures of downed trees. 🙁 Everybody please be safe.

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      jlyfsh October 29, 2012, 1:56 pm

      it’s so hard to convince people to leave. my mom’s family is from hatteras and no one ever wants to leave. even though the only way on and off the island gets cut off because of flooding.

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      Eagle Eye October 29, 2012, 2:02 pm

      If it makes you feel any better, I’m totally with you right now, my 80-something grandparents live on the Jersey Shore and we couldn’t get in contact with them for a couple of hours – my dad finally managed to get through to them and they’re calling the police department to see if they need to be evacuated…ugh

      Also, my boyfriend decided to still go into work today, which does not involve just sitting in his office, but also driving around the city to and from a couple of different locations – as he put it, why should a storm stop him from running his experiments…grrrrr

      Oh, and the best part is that I can’t contact him via phone or internet right now, his current location doesn’t get either…GAH!

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        Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:08 pm

        Is your bf a grad student or postdoc? I hope you get hold of his soon!

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        Eagle Eye October 29, 2012, 2:13 pm

        he’s a grad student…he’s been having problems getting papers out, so he figures that he still needs to work, apparently acts of God don’t bother scientists!

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        Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Yeah, when my grad school town shut down due to a huge blizzard in 2003, I remember trudging into the lab, watching all the kids in dorms snowboard down the stadium steps. In retrospect, it made zero difference to when I graduated. Your bf should totally listen to you and take the day off!

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        Eagle Eye October 29, 2012, 3:19 pm

        Thanks, yeah, I just got off the phone with him and he said that he’s planning on (finally!) heading home in like 30 min, he’s also dropping off some friends of ours who don’t have a car back at their place too, so that’s good!

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        Taylor October 30, 2012, 10:24 am

        Yay!

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      • avatar

        Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

        Is your bf a grad student or postdoc? I hope you get hold of him soon!

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      iseeshiny October 29, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Yeah, my mantra right now is “I can’t make other people’s decisions for them, and even if I could that wouldn’t guarantee their safety, worrying about it does exactly zero to help them and only makes me tired and ill.”

      I just googled Hatteras and good lord, I’ve been living inland way too long because that is a lot of water.

      I hope your grandparents are okay, Eagle Eye.

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        iseeshiny October 29, 2012, 2:11 pm

        *And your bf, too!

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        Eagle Eye October 29, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Thanks! It sounds like they’re far enough inland right now that flooding shouldn’t be a problem, and hopefully my boyfriend will call me within the next hour or so, I just asked that he gets home before sunset…

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    • SarahKat

      SarahKat October 29, 2012, 4:26 pm

      I’m am so sorry you guy’s have to worry like that. It must be hard enough just worrying about yourself.

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      Eagle Eye October 29, 2012, 5:28 pm

      Well, good news! My boyfriend is home safe and sound and I just spoke to my grandparents on the phone, they still have power and they haven’t been asked to evacuate yet, also some of their neighbors have already called to let them know if they need anything to just go get them, so that’s a relief. We’re bracing for the worst of it, but its good to know that at least we can contact everyone and I know where everyone is!

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      iseeshiny October 29, 2012, 8:33 pm

      I just heard from my aunt in Ocean Gate. She’s still there, but at least she went over to a neighbor’s. My other aunt and my grandmother are fine. I feel really weirdly guilty for being here in Missouri instead of there with them… it’s not rational but I feel like somehow if I were there I could keep them safe. Anyway, god bless social media and texting and smart phones. I know crises like this were a lot more nerve wracking ten years ago. Counting every blessing….

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed October 29, 2012, 9:15 pm

        we were just talking about that in my class. We all feel guilty for being here while our family and friends are in the storm.

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      temperance October 29, 2012, 8:57 pm

      Ugh, I’m so sorry. I hope they are at least in shelters. I’ve been seeing all the photos on fb of the NJ wreckage (and the SHARKS swimming down the streets OMG), and I really hope people are caring for themselves.

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  • avatar

    emmkat October 29, 2012, 1:43 pm

    As a former Houston resident who has lived through two hurricanes (including Ike, which destroyed my house), all I have to say is: always respect the hurricane.

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    Kris_ October 29, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Ugh, I’m frustrated. DC is completely shut down: no metro, government workers are off, schools are off. Where am I? At work, because private industry doesn’t shut down or if you do, you’re expected to work from home. At least it mostly rainy with some wind here and I live close to work. We’re mostly at risk for flooding. I’m definately leaving before the worst of it is supposed to come later today.

    Wendy, my emergency supplies look simliar to yours except insert chex mix instead of popcorn. I’m so addicted to chex mix.

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      Kerrycontrary October 29, 2012, 6:28 pm

      I am addicted to chex mix as well. But then I eat an entire bag and I get SO thirsty.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Wendy October 29, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Storm is still 200 miles away, but the winds are picking up, sky is getting darker, and it’s been raining for over an hour. We just broke into the first chocolate bar.

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      Taylor October 29, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Stay safe and warm with your boys Wendy.

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  • Just Max

    Just Max October 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

    We are in NE New Jersey and, since we can’t go anywhere, we are baking up a storm (no pun intended), and drinking the day away. Nothing else to do, but wait it out.
    Keep safe everyone!

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    Anna October 29, 2012, 2:26 pm

    It hasn’t stopped raining in days here in Ohio because of this, and it’s supposed to get worse. To my knowledge, nothing is shutting down here so far but it’s definitely not going to be a fun week. I bought a car today to replace the one that died last week and planned to go straight to the tire shop since the tires are bald…lo and behold they didn’t have the tires in stock so I have to wait until tomorrow morning. I have to drive carefully to work tonight on those bald tires in the rain! There’s not a chance my office will shut down unfortunately; it’s a 24/7 call center and they never shut down for any weather. They would honestly let us all blow away in the hurricane before they would shut down the phones.

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    • theattack

      theattack October 29, 2012, 4:19 pm

      Looks like a cute car, Anna!

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      Chiswickian October 29, 2012, 7:30 pm

      I’m in Ohio too! And it’s so shitty out! Rain and crazy wind, 43 degrees out real feel 25. They’re obviously not going to cancel anything because the weather is always shitty in Ohio but the roof of a school building just broke so they had to close that one at least. Sucks because it sounds like my family in the Boston suburbs has it equally bad but they get two days of school off. Damn them!

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    • KKZ

      KKZ October 30, 2012, 8:39 am

      So here I am, in Cincinnati, getting up and doing my morning routine, too dark outside to see (and my blinds are shut anyway because I’m in an apartment complex and don’t like the neighbors peeking in. Ho hum, brush teeth, mascara clothes, time to take the dog out… hmm, wonder how cold it is, will I need a jacket?

      Open the door…

      SNOW!

      WTF?

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      • avatar

        Tax Geek October 30, 2012, 9:12 am

        Yeah. More than the “flurries” we were supposed to get.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 29, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Yikes… What is up with all these CRAZY storms? I feel so lucky that (somehow) the West Coast seems very immune to this sort of thing… I’ve been here since 1994 and we’ve never even had anything so much as the vaguest warning. The Pacific is too cold, I guess…

    Batten down the hatches, WENDY! (And everybody else in its path!) Take everything VERY seriously and please do heed every warning…

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      *HmC* October 29, 2012, 9:17 pm

      So true. But we do have earthquakes, mudslides, and wild fires to contend with, all three of which have destroyed homes of my loved ones.

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    Daisy October 29, 2012, 4:29 pm

    How is everybody doing?? I’m looking at newspapers online and watching CNN International, but it’s hard to tell what’s sensationalized media and what’s real. Anyway, I hope all of you on the east coast are safe!

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny October 29, 2012, 4:54 pm

    I’ve been reading the updates online. Wow, it’s really storming out there, and it’s only just begun! Good luck everyone and stay safe. Hopefully you’ll be, at worst, a bit waterlogged. I’m in CA, so no hurricanes for me (earthquakes, yes). I can’t imagine being in such a severe storm! I’ll be watching the news updates and thinking of you all.

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  • theattack

    theattack October 29, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Please be smart, everybody! Hurricanes are soo not something to mess around with. Keep us updated too!

    I’d just like to say that I’ve had two surprise phone interviews today from the same organization, and they both went really really well. The people I talked to seemed impressed, and they seemed to like me, and I have a real life interview Halloween morning! I have no idea why they called me at random this morning and then called me at random again this afternoon, but whatever! Wish me luck on Wednesday! You all should really support me getting a job soon because it will definitely cut down on my DW bitching.

    Sidenote though: when the guy called me this afternoon, it showed up as a blocked number. I’ve been getting a lot of telemarketers lately, so I almost didn’t answer. When I did answer, I was pretty rude and asked who was calling before I would answer if it was me. Oops!

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      *HmC* October 29, 2012, 5:13 pm

      Congrats! When I’m actively job hunting, I don’t answer numbers I don’t know. I don’t like being caught off guard or while I’m out. I much prefer them to leave a message and then I call them back once I’ve composed myself and have my resume etc. in front of me. It’s not like they’re going to knock you off their list just for not being available immediately.

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      • theattack

        theattack October 29, 2012, 5:17 pm

        That’s a really good idea. I think I’ll start doing that. I had to scramble around to get my resume during the first interview this morning. I don’t think she held it against me though since she did call completely at random.

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      Kristen October 30, 2012, 9:12 am

      Ahhh! Good luck!! Can’t wait to hear back when you get the job 🙂

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    Bethany October 29, 2012, 5:41 pm

    So the storm is about a half hour away from reaching land. I’m about 100 miles inland, and it’s starting to get bad here. The wind is REALLY picking up, and I’m fairly certain the power is going to go out soon. My house sits on a half acre of land, most of which is wooded with trees that are 50+ years old and very tall- there’s a big hill in front of and behind my house that all these trees are on… I’m really, really hoping these trees hold up. I don’t want a tree through my house!!

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle October 29, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Getting REALLY windy here in Jersey! The good thing is that I’ve been off work today & tomorrow, but I am not liking how scary this is right now 🙁

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    Kerrycontrary October 29, 2012, 9:53 pm

    How are you doing in Brooklyn, Wendy? Looks pretty scary with the flooding in lower Manhatten now. We still have power thank god! I’ve spent all day watching movies in so bored. I need to work out tomorrow so I stop feeling like a slug.

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  • avatar

    temperance October 29, 2012, 9:00 pm

    For all the DE/NJ/NY/PA DWers:

    This has been a pretty decent stormtracker. I’ve gotten a shocking amount of homework done, and my first class on Thursday is also cancelled because my prof. is stuck in DC.

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