photo credit: cbc news
This week, my “Weekend Distraction” has been preempted by Mother Nature because she is offering up a huge distraction of her own.
Those of us who live in the Northeastern part of the United States are about to get clobbered by a storm that the media has dubbed “Frankenstorm”.
Apparently, the hurricane that is coming up the east coast is going to strengthen, increase in size, combine with other weathery things and then EXPLODE into an enormous storm. This is a “Perfect Storm” scenario (like the movie) except this storm will happen over land. “Unprecedented”, they say.
Here is a sampling of the warnings we are receiving:
* “We looking at one of the worst storms on record that we’ve seen in this region,” said Carl Parker, hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel.
* The rare mix of merging weather systems over a densely populated region, experts predict at least $1 billion in damage.
* The resulting storm “will be like a nor’easter with a hurricane embedded in it,” said Bryan Norcross, hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel.
* “We’re not trying to hype it,” National Weather Service meterologist Paul Kocin tells Bloomberg News. “What we’re seeing in some of our models is a storm at an intensity that we have not seen in this part of the country in the past century.”
* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco said: “We don’t have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting.”
* “The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I’m thinking a billion” this time, Masters said. “Yeah, it will be worse.”
We are being warned that it is highly likely that we will have major power outages for a significant amount of time. (The storm itself is expected to last for days. Yes, you read that right… days!) They are warning of power outages that will last a week or more.
Since I live right in the middle of the predicted mess, I am contemplating my life without power. (We do not have a generator). No power means no cooking, no heat, no refrigerator, no freezer, no (gasp) blogging!!!
And then there is the internet. It is fickle under the best of circumstances, so I’m sure a “Frankenstorm” will be a great excuse for it to quit. (I guess what I’m saying is that I might not be around for a few days.)
If you live in the Northeast, it is time for you to prepare. Once you are buckled down, have your batteries, water and other supples, there are a few apps you might want to add to your emergency kit.
My dear friend alerted me to an app from the American Red Cross designed for emergency preparedness. (thank you, Mona!) Although this app is called Hurricane by American Red Cross, it is really much more than that. It is a great app to have on hand for all severe weather.
It includes emergency plans, shelter locators, radar information, notifications of warnings in your area (I woke up to a notification of a flood watch) and … a tool kit, with a strobe light, flashlight and a loud alarm to signal for help.
The American Red Cross also has a fine First Aid App, and it pairs nicely with the one, above. It also includes emergency plans.
Best of all, the content is contained ON your device, so even if you lose your connection to the internet you still have the step by step emergency information.
While you do still have electricity, make sure you keep your devices on full charge, so when the power goes out you’ll have maximum usage.
A car charger can be a big help (if you have a car :) ). When the power goes out, you can charge up your phone from your car. I plan to pick up a car charger on Saturday as part of my preparing for this storm.
Note to owners of e-readers: Charge them up! There may be some long, powerless nights ahead for a lot of reading time.
Even if you are not part of this, uh, “adventure”, both of these Red Cross Apps are FREE and full of good information.
Hurricane by American Red Cross is free in the iTunes store.
First Aid by American Red Cross is free in the iTunes store.