Just days after the East Coast earthquake shook Eastern seaboard, another natural disaster is getting ready to bear down on America's Atlantic coast. With the media in a full frenzy, we started wondering what different people in different states are doing to prepare. So we set out to find the details, pictures, and video. We found them, and now we bring them to you.
Let's start with a personal anecdote.
Though the current weather conditions toward the northeast are a calm before the storm, grocery stores are another story. When I went to a Washington, D.C., grocery store Thursday night, it wasn't the usual ready-made chicken dinner pick-up crowd. DC-ites were in full emergency preparedness mode, similar to what happens when winter forecasts call for more than 3 inches of snow.
The water aisle was decimated. A couple near me was considering which peanut butter would be best to sustain them should they be unable to cook. The wine section was rather popular, especially red, which is better served room temp. A cashier said it had been unusually busy since 4 p.m. I'm sure it's even worse today.
Even though Hurricane Irene was downgraded today to Category 2,weather forecasters have said it could ramp back up to Category 3. Which means more of a frenzy. Hurricane watches have been issued from North Carolina to New York City and five states have declared states of emergency -- Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Here's how some of the coastal states are preparing on a larger scale:
Hampton Roads, Virginia: Crews are building a giant pyramid of sand to help prevent flooding. Watch:
Maryland: Residents and beach goers were ordered by officials to evacuate the Ocean City coastline. Gov. Martin O'Malley said he hopes the town will be evacuated by 5 p.m. today. Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan banned the sale of alcohol and requested that businesses in the coastal town be closed by midnight Thursday. The last time Ocean City ordered an evacuation was in 1985 for Hurricane Gloria.
Watch Ocean City preparation:
New Jersey: Mandatory evacuation of several Jersey shore towns is underway. Several gas stations have run out of gas during evacuation. Governor Chris Christie is suspending the tolls on two major evacuation routes to help people get away from the shore. Atlantic City casinos are closing. Coastal business owners are boarding up storefronts.
And finally, New York: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that low-lying, coastal areas must be evacuated, including those in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Battery Park and the financial district in Manhattan. Public transit -- subways, busses and commuter trains -- in New York City, on Long Island and in the northern suburbs will stop running around noon Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. New Yorkers are being urged to stock up on emergency supplies.
Watch the Fox News report that discusses what the shut down of the transit system, which shuttles about 5.2 million riders each day, means for the area:Ed Tremblay, fire coordinator for Saratoga County --just north of Albany -- said to the Glens Falls Post Star, "There's really nothing special we can do right now, other than keeping an eye on the South," said "We're still not certain what's going to come on Sunday."
So what if you find yourself in the path of the hurricane? Luckily we have you covered. Fox News reported some tips for hurricane preparedness from the Red Cross. You can watch that below:
In the Fox News report, the Red Cross includes the essential items for a hurricane preparedness kit:
- Non-perisheable foods and manual can opener
- Battery-operated flashlight
- Battery-operated radio
- First aid kit
- IDs, insurance cards, etc., in a zip lock bag
If you happen to capture some pictures or videos of the storm, people preparing for the storm, or people responding to the storm, feel free to send them to The Blaze using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.