School has already been cancelled. Mass transit has stopped running.
By the time this is posted, we will have a better idea of where Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall. We won’t know how long she’ll last, and we won’t know the damage she’ll have done by the time she leaves us. But we know she’s coming; we can feel her already. The best we can do is be prepared.
So we’ve bought some bottled water and filled other bottles, pitchers, and bowls. The tub is full of water. We’ve got cans of beans and tuna. We filled Ziploc bags and put them in the freezer like the guy on the Weather Channel said to do. Our batteries are charged and next to the flashlights; we’ve got extra batteries just in case. We’ve got candles and matches. All of the plants and furniture are off of the balcony. The drapes are closed. And now we wait.
People living in Evacuation Zone A should have moved to higher ground. But some haven’t. I spoke with a former student who lives in Far Rockaway, very close to the beach. She did not evacuate even though there is a mandatory evacuation for that area. I tried to convince her to go, and her reason for staying was even more convincing. During Hurricane Irene, she, her sister and her sister’s two small children evacuated Far Rockaway. They went to an evacuation center. It was full and they were turned away. They went to another evacuation center (this all by mass transit as they have no car). She described the experience as being disgusting and horrible. She’d rather be stranded on the eleventh floor in her apartment with no elevator service, electricity or water than go to an evacuation center. What does this say about our city and how it cares for the people who need help the most? The people who have nowhere else to go? Why can’t we ensure these places are clean and safe?
I’m lucky I have good neighbors. We’ve bought each other water, offered car lending for supply shopping, and offered space in each others’ apartments should cabin fever set in (as will surely happen with the five children who live on the second floor). I’m also lucky I have parents who I can turn to in case I need help. Some people aren’t so lucky. Those are the people I’ll be thinking about as Hurricane Sandy barrels through Brooklyn.