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Slashdot Asks: Are You Preparing For Hurricane Sandy?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the just-another-way-to-say-abrasive dept.

Earth 232

Forecasters are tossing around words like "unprecedented" and "bizarre" (see this Washington Post blog entry) for the intensity and timing of Hurricane Sandy, which is threatening to hit the east coast of the U.S. early next week. Several people I know in the mid-Atlantic region have been ordering generators and stocking up on flashlight batteries and easy-to-prepare foods. Are you in the projected path of the storm? If so, have you taken any steps to prepare for it? (Are you doing off-site backup? Taking yourself off-site?)

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Of course (4, Funny)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#41784605)

I plan to avoid scuba diving in Monterey Bay this weekend. Hurricanes are most dangerous in coastal areas, after all...

Re:Of course (0)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41785057)

Unfortunately, your joke is unclear to the 99% of the population that's geogrphically challenged.

Re:Of course (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#41785125)

Speaking of geographically challenged, this question.

(on the bright side, I finally get to side with all the europeans and aussies gripe and moan in the US-centric articles)

Re:Of course (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785339)

(on the bright side, I finally get to side with all the europeans and aussies gripe and moan in the US-centric articles)

Is this a joke?

Have you somehow missed seeing all the worthless Aussie non-stories that flood Slashdot these days?

Christ, I know Australians who now moan about the lack of non-Aussie stories on Slashdot.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785321)

Unfortunately, your joke is unclear to the 99% of the population that's geogrphically challenged.

And not humorous to those that understand the joke. Except maybe for those under the age of 12.

Re:Of course (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#41785537)

Unfortunately, your joke is unclear to the 99% of the population that's geogrphically challenged.

And not humorous to those that understand the joke. Except maybe for those under the age of 12.

It does seem to be a miss. Misdirection can work on an older audience, and I tried to enhance its subtlety by not mentioning California outright, but for an older audience it probably requires more setup. (versus the one liner I put out) Jimmy Kimmel does it all the time, and yet his formula still works after all these years.

Then again, you won't get A material out of a first post. Scroll down about halfway and comments get really interesting, albeit unnoticed.

yeah (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41784647)

yeah those 40-mph forecast winds as we get 'slammed' on the east coast are terrifying.

I'd take this more seriously if the media didn't hop all over *every* storm as if it each one was the End of the World as we Know It.

Of course I've done basic prep - but no, I'm not cowering upstairs crawl space in fear of the lower floors getting flooded out.

Re:yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784681)

60 MPH. This storm in uni.... oh, Jeopardy is on.. sorry.

Re:yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784877)

Could you please spray paint a big neon pink dick on your roof so we know to skip your house and rescue your neighbors from the flood water instead?

Re:yeah (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#41784893)

I was in Charleston, SC a few years after Hugo (cat 5, direct hit) when another hurricane came out of the carribean with the same size speed strength, etc. Forecast wasn't bad as the steering currents were set to move it offshore.

Still that town got up and LEFT en mass.

Being the stupid 'damn' yankee that I was(am?) I of course stayed to watch ;-)

Re:yeah (3, Interesting)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41785511)

I think my flippancy has caused some misinterpretation.

Like I said, I've done basic prep. Candles, flashlight, plenty of food, standing supply of bottled water, etc.

But I also know that the absolute worst that will happen is my house will fall down, in which case we'll need to find somewhere else to be. The vast majority of the preparations I can take won't make any difference to the storm.

If we lose power, we lose power. THe world won't end, I have plenty of dry food and enough water packed in my freezer that it'll be a couple-few days before it's a problem, and dried food enough for two weeks easily. Also plenty of food on hand for my animals.

The usual "run in circles, scream and shout" routine won't help anything. Nor will joining the throngs at the store for the next three days who buy every last scrap of bread, water, and whatever else.

Re:yeah (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41784897)

Well, it's one of those things that if nothing happens, we all say the weather people were over-reacting.

But a bunch of years ago, in the aftermath of hurricane Juan, most of my family was without power for about a week or more. People had to spend an awful lot of time cutting down all of the felled trees just so they could get out of their streets. My parents lost the contents of two fridges and a freezer because there was no power to keep stuff cold.

My father now has a generator wired into the house, and set up so they can run the furnace, and a couple of outlets (run the fridge for a while to keep it cold), with enough gas to run it for most of a week. They already have a bunch of oil-lamps, and make sure to keep them fueled. They keep several gallons of water in the bathroom to flush with (they're on a well, no electricity means no water to flush the toilets, which is pretty nasty).

Extra water, and some extra provisions set aside just in case. An old Coleman camping grill they've had for years and a propane tank so they can still do some basic cooking. The barbeque as well.

It's easy to say "oh, nothing will happen, they're over-reacting", but anybody who has lived through the aftermath with no power, running water, heat ... well, it's not all that difficult to keep a few things handy just in case it goes south. Sure, you may never actually need it ... but once you've been burned once, you figure it's worth keeping it around just in case.

A few years after Juan, they did have a storm big enough to knock out power for a few days. Dad just fired up the generator, turned on the oil lamps, and just rode it out until everything was back to normal. It wasn't exactly the lap of luxury, but they could cover the essentials for a few days. He hasn't regretted the generator or any of the preparations since.

They still call every impending storm as if it's the coming apocalypse, but the few times it's been big enough to cause problems, they've been quite well prepared. If you've got heat, some basic lighting, and enough electricity to keep the fridge from spoiling, you can ride it out a whole lot easier.

Re:yeah (2)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 2 years ago | (#41785027)

In New Jersey, which last I heard is in its path, last year around Halloween we got nailed. A windy freak snow storm came out of nowhere.

Trees went down all over the place.

My house was without power for 6 days and 15 hours.

That was the first time in over 20 years of living there that we were without power for more than a couple of hours.

Trees went down all over the state. A couple went down on our property. The top part of a tree fell on the power lines in front of our house AND blocked the main road.

And really, prior to the storm they didn't make it sound like it was going to be too bad. Meanwhile LOTS of NJ were without power for days.

Re:yeah (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41785481)

My father now has a generator wired into the house, and set up so they can run the furnace, and a couple of outlets (run the fridge for a while to keep it cold), with enough gas to run it for most of a week. They already have a bunch of oil-lamps, and make sure to keep them fueled. They keep several gallons of water in the bathroom to flush with (they're on a well, no electricity means no water to flush the toilets, which is pretty nasty).

Since they have a hardwired generator, why not put the well pump on the generator? My parents have a 5KVA generator that has enough power to run the well pump as long as no other big loads are powered on (the startup current on the well pump is apparently too much current draw when combined with other loads). Once the well pump fills the pressure tank, he can turn it off and has 15 - 20 gallons of usable water before the pressure drops too low.

If I had a generator, I'd never use oil lamps - rechargable batteries and LED flashlights are much safer, you can get a fast charger to recharge AA's in 30 minutes or so, which is less time than you'll need to run the fridge. Or get a D cell LED lantern [] - it'll run for 48 hours or so on a set of non-rechargable alkalines. Or use your rechargable AA's in a D-cell adapter and you can still get a few hours of lifetime from it before you need to recharge.

I saw someone knock over an oil lamp once in a garage - the wick holder came off and oil seeped out onto the plywood it fell onto, it created a sizeable fire before someone brought in a fire extinguisher to douse it. Not something I'd want to have happen in the living room during a hurricane disaster.

Re:yeah (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 2 years ago | (#41784991)

In their defense, last I heard they were saying the gusts would hit 75MpH in New Jersey. Which, considering how many of the trees still haven't shed their leaves yet, COULD be bad. Last Halloween, NJ got dragged over the coals by a freak snow storm. What made it so bad was the amount of leaves on the trees, causing things to fall ALL over the place.

But I'll believe it when I see it. When they call something "Franken-storm" while it's still days out, it's still a bit premature.

Re:yeah (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41785213)

I wouldn't recommend cowering even if I could guarantee that the storm was a combination of the Camille and the 1991 "perfect storm".. But is the fact that a hype-prone media is hyping the storm the way the hype everything a good reason not to take it seriously? The fact that the boy keeps crying wolf is not a reason to doubt that wolves exist.

Re:yeah (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41785539)

Indeed; like I said, I've done basic prep. We'll be fine if we lose power for a week or even longer. But most of this stuff is stuff I have on hand *anyway* - not a reaction to the hype. Just a little common sense and foresight - understanding that because things are a certain way *now* does not mean this will be true *tomorrow * - is all it takes to be prepared for most reasonable emergencies. Without buying into the hype...

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785419)

Remember it was merely 14 months ago that parts of the area were without power seven days or longer. I'm a Long Island boy and some areas of my town were out nearly a week, I had four days without. Had to go to check in on my IRC friends from my cell phone.

My friend in CT was without power a week, and internet two. The power company is calling customers here telling them to be ready for power outages lasting several days and NJ power company says a week or longer.

This time I have a more power efficient phone, and a backup charger with two to three cycles worth of juice, and a laptop with one charge cycle but that's small relief compared to using a desktop or laptop for Internet.

For me, just going to be like the olden days, just a man and his books in the daylight here if it comes to that. Or maybe I'm lucky living right outside NYC i could spend some time in the library there, they won't lose power because the cables are underground.

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785503)

Forgot to sign in.

But yeah, it was Hurricane Irene. Now they're saying this could be an even worse "historic" storm.

It was just a year ago this happened dude. Why think it couldn't happen again?

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784657)

but I'm fairly sure it's influence over central illinois it probably already covered by my current preparations.

Yep. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784659)

I've got my shotguns, my highway flares, some barbed wire, and an axe.

Wait, I've been following the Zombie Survival Checklist???


Re:Yep. (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#41784971)

Beer, you forgot beer!

News For Nerds? (1, Informative)

heptapod (243146) | about 2 years ago | (#41784661)

Man, this place has gone impossibly downhill further since Taco left. Makes me yearn for Roland Piquepaille's slashverts and Michael's political polemics.

Re:News For Nerds? (3, Insightful)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41784945)

Living in Florida, I hope your disappointment has at least some credibility to it. From all the buzz, it seems this may be a big one. I've been here most of my life and have seen more than a few hurricanes. Aside from awe-inspiring and occasionally catastrophic, they are fascinating. Also, in case you were unaware, CENTCOM [] is located in Tampa, FL.
I don't know what things used to be like 'round here long ago, but this particular topic seems pretty ripe for interesting conversation. Meteorology isn't exactly for morons, and colossal storms are one of its more exciting elements. And if you are sorely nostalgic for political polemics, there's already a fuss on the "tubes" about the hurricane and what it implies for presidick1 vs presidick2.

Preparations (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | about 2 years ago | (#41784669)

After being without power for several days last July I learned a few lessons. I picked up a car iPhone charger and will probably get the WTOP app. I will also probably get extra ice and beer, both commodies which were in short supply after the storms last summer.

Already prepared. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784687)

Maryland here, not too far from DC. I have a 2kW generator with a transfer switch I wired into my breaker box on my furnace's circuit. I always keep a couple of months of food and four 5 gallon cans of gasoline around. I have plenty of oil lamps and fuel. I might loser power, internet, and some perishable items but honestly I'm more concerned about potential property damage than a few days off of work catching up on reading and housecleaning. I'm sure we're not talking about roving gangs of marauders here or anything. The only thing I really need to stock up on is beer. I'll be fine.

Reading these comments... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784747)

I'm convinced Armageddon will start with a shortage of booze.

Re:Already prepared. (2)

penix1 (722987) | about 2 years ago | (#41784913)

I have a 20 kW whole house generator with ATS wired in. 30 seconds after the power goes out the generator kicks on. 30 seconds after that the house is powered again. I live in the boonies where it can take days to fix power outages for regular thunderstorms so it benefits me to do so.

Re:Already prepared. (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41785545)

Maryland here, not too far from DC. I have a 2kW generator with a transfer switch I wired into my breaker box on my furnace's circuit. I always keep a couple of months of food and four 5 gallon cans of gasoline around.

What fuel stabilizer do you use, how long do you keep the gas, and what do you do when it expires? Just curious since I've thought about getting an emergency generator, but want to know how to keep fuel ready for it. The only gasoline burning machine I have at home is my car - do you just burn the fuel in your car before it gets too old?

I have plenty of oil lamps and fuel.

I asked this above, but why use oil lamps? Alkaline batteries are cheap (or NiMH's can be recharged from your generator), LEDs last forever, and oil is a big fire hazard if you knock a lamp off the table. the last thing I'd want during a hurricane disaster when power and phones is out is a fire in my house and no way to call the fire department.

I might loser power, internet, and some perishable items but honestly I'm more concerned about potential property damage than a few days off of work catching up on reading and housecleaning. I'm sure we're not talking about roving gangs of marauders here or anything. The only thing I really need to stock up on is beer. I'll be fine.

Charge the Kindle now!

A couple of points : (1)

TechnoGrl (322690) | about 2 years ago | (#41784705)

1. It won't be either a hurricane or even a tropical depression when it hits the upper east coast next Tuesday according to the National Weather Service( )

2. Total Rainfall potential predicted by the NWS for the Pennsylvania , New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts areas is estimated to be - wait for it - a whopping 3 to 7 inches FOR THE ENTIRE FIVE DAYS through Wednesday. ( )

Didn't we go through this last year with the storm of the century that was supposed to flood New York but never really materialized and aren't we all a bit tired of the ridiculously overwrought news stories that get propagated all over the internet in order to drive page views?

When the NWS puts out a Frankenstorm warning then maybe it's time to get concerned but until then ...

Re:A couple of points : (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41784829)

While the last one would have made a really bad nature's revenge film, it did cause significant problems all over the area. Enough so that some preparation was in order and those who did were a lot happier than those who didn't.

If you are referring to Irene (3, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 2 years ago | (#41784907)

It actually did a real number on us in Vermont. In fact it was the worst flooding since 1932 in many places, and the worst ever in some places.

Of course this whole thing may turn out to be nothing. It won't reach hear until Monday and I don't really put a huge amount of stock on weather predictions 3 days in advance. Anyway, we're ready, around here if you're not living in town you are probably always ready.

Re:A couple of points : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784923)

Look at the link you posted again. It shows it as making landfall as a hurricane, and downgrading from there to a tropical depression (the H's and S's).

Re:A couple of points : (3, Informative)

SpinyNorman (33776) | about 2 years ago | (#41785047)

3-7" of rain would be fine if it was all nice and spread out and just soaked into the ground, but water has a nasty habit of flowing downhill and finding its way into rivers...

The local river in northern NJ here raised its level by at least 10' during last years storm, resulting in the local highway being under 4' of water.

Re:A couple of points : (5, Informative)

mps01060 (1327829) | about 2 years ago | (#41785243)

A couple of points:

1. Precipitation:
You have to consider that the land types are different for the northeast states compared to southeast states such as Florida. Florida has soil in which the rain drains out of much quicker. In addition, engineering designs are different for states that generally get less rain than the southern states. The HDSC [] calculates precipitation Recurrence Intervals [] for engineering design purposes. For example, Florida sees a mean annual maximum precipitation of about 5 inches in 24 hours compared to 2.5 inches in 24 hours in the northeast. This discrepancy is much larger when you look at recurrance intervals of >10 years (9 compared to 5 inches). This event has the potential to drop 100 year rainfall on the northeastern states. It will last a few days, but MOST of the rain will fall in one day.

2. Wind:
This will likely transition into an extratropical cyclone. extratropical (mid-latitude) storms have weaker winds than hurricanes, but are over a much larger area. Most hurricanes have severe wind damage only a few miles from the center in the eye-wall. Tropical storm strength winds extend out further, but even those don't usually extend out far in most storms (obviously there are exceptions such as Hurricane Ike [] ). An extratropical cyclone's winds will cause moderate damage over a very large area. The other thing to consider are trees. Trees in the north are much less resistant to the wind, especially since most still have their leaves this time of the year. The winds in this storm won't be as deadly as a hurricane's, but will be a HUGE issue for damage and power outages.

Storm surge:
This [] is a page with estimated storm surge. This storm will also stick around for a while, so it will be able to pile more and more water up against the shore, as well as have a chance to coincide with astronomical high tides. There are many places in NYC that will flood (although they will be properly evacuated).

3. People
If the center hits around southern New Jersey, this storm will directly affect Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, etc. This is a very large amount of people to worry about. These people are used to Nor' Easters but this should be much stronger than a typical Nor' Easter.

I do understand why you think this is being over-hyped, especially when you compare it to the smaller but much more powerful hurricanes that strike the south. Overall, I don't expect this storm to cause many deaths; I think the people will generally be prepared. I do see this storm causing a lot of damage and long-lasting power outages. When you have these affects over such a large area, it could take time to get back to business as normal. Lastly, you should look for more information on Irene because it was very damaging, especially with the flooding in NY and VT, where both the infrastructure and the land type is not used to that kind of rain.

Re:A couple of points : (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41785459)

Also add that tides will be up because of the full or nearly full moon. Even more fun!

Sorta hope the power *does* go out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784707)

We have a gas stove and the freezer is stocked with ice to keep the beer and food cold for a week or so if needed. We don't need to worry about flooding where I live (they do where I work, but that is not my problem). Outside of that, if the power goes out, I'll just have to enjoy the quiet and read and catch up with the missus. Periods without tech can be nice so long as a tree doesn't take out my house.

Re:Sorta hope the power *does* go out... (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#41785283)

I was about to reply with something like "there's a national park nearby calling you", and then the poignancy of your comment REALLY struck me...

Checklist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784715)

Wetsuit? Check!
Tiny board and fin? Check!
Tiny sail? Check!
Windsurfing in 40mph wind? Priceless.
Bring on FrankenSandy!

Re:Checklist (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41785505)

Wetsuit? Check!
Tiny board and fin? Check!
Tiny sail? Check!
Windsurfing in 40mph wind? Priceless.
Bring on FrankenSandy!

Cost to fly US Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk - about $4000 / hr - not so priceless.

Yeah.... (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 2 years ago | (#41784721)

Been through some storms so I've added some munchies, bought some water, charged a spare car batt for a frend's sump pump and to charge phones, and I cleared the gutters out. I also chatted with my neighbors, we're prepped to help each other out if needed. Pissed I skipped installing the generator I considered last month, betting I'll need it...

Yuck it up but 8inches or more of rain will fuck things up pretty good. Oh, I RainX'd my car windshield too :-)

Nothing new here (1)

Constantin (765902) | about 2 years ago | (#41784731)

Is it a good idea to have your offsite backups in place? Sure, but why wait for a predictable natural disaster as opposed to a man-made one? The whole point of a viable backup strategy is not to have a single point of failure, including a reliance on predictable events.

In an ideal world, I'd have several heavy-duty chain saws at the ready, dripping in anticipation of cutting down wayward trees. But this being the real world, I'll leave my big boy chaps, kevlar gloves, etc. in fantasy-land and hire a professional should a tree make a unexpected entry into our home.

In fact, we're pretty carefree here... spoiled by the reliability of the electrical grid, with the longest off-line period being 23 hours thanks to a neighbor cutting the roots on a street tree, allowing said tree to tumble into the street and taking out two electrical poles in the process. So, no gen set, for example. Living on the edge...

Re:Nothing new here (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41785099)

I've cut plenty of wayward trees, but if one falls on your home GET PICS for the insurance adjuster before ANYONE fucks with it.

Re:Nothing new here (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41785523)

Further, I'd recommend getting pictures of anyone attempting sexual relations with the tree. /b/ needs new stuff!

Re:Nothing new here (4, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 2 years ago | (#41785159)

Lucky you. I'm in (roughly) the middle of a very large metro area (Houston) but happen to live in a neighborhood at the end of a mile-long road with no other way in or out. We are at the terminus of our part of the electrical grid and there are only a couple of hundred homes. In short, we're low priority for power restoration due to our small population and in a location where falling trees along that mile-long entry road can take out our power in a heartbeat.

The power goes out in my neighborhood regularly. "Maintenance" took it out for 6 hours 2 days ago. It was out for over a week the last time we had a big ice storm. It was out for over two weeks during the last hurricane. It goes out for some time, maybe a few minutes or maybe several hours, during every big thunderstorm. And as for tree removal, after the last hurricane the county cleared our main road in after a week but people who had to hire private contractors to remove trees that had fallen through their houses often had a 2 or 3 week wait to get an appointment.

You better believe that whenever there's a hint of serious weather, we either get a generator (there's almost always an evacuating neighbor who wants us to watch their house and feed their cat and is happy to lend us a generator in exchange) and a ton of supplies or we get the heck out.

My poor grandmother in only semi-rural Alabama was once without power for over 6 weeks after a hurricane.

People should take weather more seriously. I swear, if I had the money I'd get a NG-powered fuel cell, feed a bank of batteries, and run my house off that, completely ditching the electrical grid. Where I live, it's just too unreliable.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41785203)

It was out for over a week the last time we had a big ice storm.

An ice storm in Houston? Really?

Obviously, I believe you, because you live there and I don't ... but as a Canadian, I guess I figured most of Texas would be too far south for stuff like that.

We had a big giant one back in '98, and it basically shut the entire city down for about a week. People were without power, and trapped on their streets because trees end electrical wires were down all over the place. In places, they literally had to call in the army to get people out of their homes and into shelters, and to clear some of the roads.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 2 years ago | (#41785403)

We've had several ice storms over the years, though only a couple were really bad. See: []

The 2007 storm is the one I was talking about. There were tens of thousands of trees downed or just bent double. It was amazing to see. I personally know two old guys, former tree maintenance company owners, who came out of retirement just to rake in cash for the next year doing cleanup all over the metro area.

A little (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 2 years ago | (#41784741)

Cleaned the gutters, brought in or strapped down lawn furniture, trimmed a couple of overhanging branches, got a couple of books from the library.

Anything else is already handled. In coastal VA, this is prepped all summer. Water in the secondary fridge and freezer, there is always enough food for a few days (no power? ha!...that is what the grill is for)

So...nothing special.

Obligatory xkcd (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784753)

Obligatory xkcd []

Re:Obligatory xkcd (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41785313)

The text is taken from actual advisories.
epsilon []
zeta []

Re:Obligatory xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785383)

epsilon's url needs a final 'l'.

like this []

Quite well prepared actually! (1)

Chas (5144) | about 2 years ago | (#41784785)

Considering I live in the Chicagoland area.

If a hurricane can push THAT far inland, I guess I deserve to get drowned/blown away/etc.

Terrify Wallstreet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784789)

Guess the right approach is to pray or join the church of climate change. Sandy is from the Terrify Wallstreet movement.

Drinking more than usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784795)

I don't know if that counts as "preparation" though

I think I'm good (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about 2 years ago | (#41784805)

I mean I'm no meteorologist, but I don't think hurricane Sandy will hit the Pacific Northwest

Re:I think I'm good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784949)

damn, you beat me to it:) , Alberta should be fine too

Don't be so cocky, you could regret it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785417)

If there's one thing I've learned over my 19 years, it's that YOU CAN LITERALLY NEVER BE TOO SAFE! I plan to spend the duration of the storm cowering in my Portland Oregon attic with a wind up flashlight, weather radio, bottled water, and sealed tin of hard tack biscuits praying the rosary (I'm not actually Christian, let alone Catholic, but I also can't prove that doing this won't help). IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY WHAT COULD HAPPEN SO BE PREPARED!

Do you want the rescuers to skip saving you because you were that jerk who didn't take the storm seriously and prepare? Do you!?!? Ask yourself what your life and safety are worth!

Sell out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784807)

We just purchased a quarter of beef that is in the freezer. My wife was insistent that we buy a generator. To humor her (and because its wise to make large purchases such as this when they are spousal authorized), I stopped by a local hardware store to check their inventory (sold out, except for a $4000 cadillac model), and a local big-box store (completely sold out). Another local hardware store was sold out of gas cans even..

So with an economy that is still weak, where does the general populace come up with the $500 - $4000 to buy a generator, that they may never use? Current plan is to try and pick one up AFTER the hurricane (or no-icane), on Craigslist, on the cheap..

Re:Sell out (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#41785121)

Turn the freezer temp down extra low before the storm, and pack with extra salt-water bottles (or regular water if you plan to drink it as it melts).

Re:Sell out (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41785127)

If considering a genset, get a Miller engine-driven welder such as a Bobcat and use that. They provide generator power, are commercial machines, and weld nicely too! Parts are more easily available than for consumer home shit gensets should you need one.

"Current plan is to try and pick one up AFTER the hurricane (or no-icane), on Craigslist, on the cheap.."

Worked for me after Hurricane Hugo via the local trade paper.

No. (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#41784835)

There's a f*cking ocean between the question in the headline and me, so no.

Re:No. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41785275)

There's a f*cking ocean between the question in the headline and me, so no.

So, you live somewhere where 1cm of snow will shut down the entire country then? ;-)

Meh . . . Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784851)

Unless it comes ashore as a strong Cat-2 or Cat-3, it's pointless to get excited about it.
Most of us who are used to them simply ignore anything smaller.

OMG Tropical Storm winds !
OMG Rain !

-Runs in little circles-

where ever it lands will be power outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784855)

it doesnt matter where it comes on shore, if your not ready to be without power for 3 days, your being lazy and hoping someone else will help you. there has not been a bad storm for a few years in this area, so when one does happen, more dead branches than usual will fall. so even if it is weak lil 40 mile n hour winds, youll most likely be without any power. most people in apartments cannot get things like generators, but i dont want to turn on the news and see how many people were completly unprepared and want me to donate them something.

theres 15 inch or so of rain expected here, and its coupling with a nor-easter. sorta like that 2000 movie, a perfect storm.

preparation H (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784857)

H for hurricane

Stupid article lookat this quote: (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41784859)

"That storm surge will only be magnified by the full moon this weekend to make it a "dangerous period," Uccellini said."

Full moon? what a fucktard. Someone should tell him that when its 1/4 moon, or a half moon, the whole fucking moon is STILL THERE.

Re:Stupid article lookat this quote: (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41784939)

And someone should tell you that the moon's orbit is only more or less circular so the tides do get stronger and weaker over the lunar cycle. I guess someone just did :-)

Re:Stupid article lookat this quote: (1)

mbstone (457308) | about 2 years ago | (#41784989)

The pros at the National Hurricane Center disagree with your analysis:

Winds as high as hurricane-force are expected to lash exposed areas of the
Northeast/mid-Atlantic states (the coast and topography)...leading
to potentially serious coastal erosion and coastal flooding. The
timing of the full moon and the build-up of tides over multiple
tidal cycles should exacerbate the situation along the
coast...particularly in corners such as the New York bight.

Re:Stupid article lookat this quote: (1)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#41785033)

"That storm surge will only be magnified by the full moon this weekend to make it a "dangerous period," Uccellini said."

He is obviously concerned about incidents of licanthropy [] . They are directly caused by the full moon, as everyone knows.

Re:Stupid article lookat this quote: (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41785051)

Full moon? what a fucktard. Someone should tell him that when its 1/4 moon, or a half moon, the whole fucking moon is STILL THERE.

Are you at least aware of the fact that tides are higher during a full moon [] ?

It's called a spring tide, and has to do with the geometry of things and gravity. So if you're already expecting a higher than usual tide, and combine that with storm surge, it will amplify it even more.

Or, do you just feel the need to continuously act like a crusty old bastard who thinks the world is populated with idiots?~

We all know the entire moon is still there (well most of us do), but the geometry of the gravity changes with position -- New Moon and Full Moon leading to the highest tides. So, maybe the expert actually knows more than you do.

Preparations include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784861)

Bread and milk

s'ok. We'll get through this too (4, Interesting)

tamarik (1163) | about 2 years ago | (#41784863)

FWIW... I'm tied to a dock on the GA/FL border. In a boat. With no motor. Sparrow is a sailboat who has weathered far worse than this. We, my 2 cats and I, have weeks of food and full water tanks. Winds here are getting up to 20 knots or so and quite gusty. Am I worried? no. We had a hardy home and sufficient supplies. As I write this, we're rolling around a bit and wind is making the rigging sing. We are warm, fed and safe. I'll put on foulies in a bit and wander the docks to see if all the other boats are ok. Maybe a line has chaffed through or a fender has gunched up. S'ok, these are things easily repaired. And then shed the foulies and enjoy a warm cuppa in my nest...

Re:s'ok. We'll get through this too (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41785141)

Your complacency reminds me of the joke about the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building. As he passed the 20th floor, he said, "I don't get why everyone thinks this is so dangerous..."

You're seriously claiming that you've weathered worse than what you'll face? Storm surges that can lift your little boat and deposit it miles inland?

Re:s'ok. We'll get through this too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785551)

This is dangerous. Boats can break free and rampage around the marina. Boats inspired by wind can break things. But... I've been here before. Beryl, Fay, to name a couple. Vigilance saves these vessels. I'm here as the owners of the other boats are not. I, we cause I'm not alone here, will do our best to save their boats, too. I've seen broken fingers. strained backs and rope burns from this. Those of us who's homes float look out for the rest of the 'slip renters' around us.

My kits are wondering what all the emotional fuss is about. No rain, yet, so they can't get the towel, and they've had evening chow-chow. They want me to wander about w/ them. My beautiful posse.

Submitted at 4:20? (0)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about 2 years ago | (#41784865)

I'm guessing I know how Timothy is preparing for the storm. Geez, isn't this supposed to be news for nerds? This storm is the front page of CNN, if I want news like this I'll go there...

PBB all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41784871)

Buying peanut butter and beer...

Yes But Not Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785031)

I experienced Hurricane Irene. The hurricane itself was laughable. Just a bit windy. The following 6 days were hell. No power meant food lasted a little longer than the ice cubes did. It meant no internet. It meant my only means of entertainment was whatever battery life I had left in my Kindle.

But I have a laptop now with two batteries and an MP3 player and my Kindle will be fully charged before this hurricane hits. Now all I have to do is stockpile some pornography and the next week or so will be a breeze.

Vigilance and Preparation (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | about 2 years ago | (#41785041)

To all my fellow Baltimorons and Delmarva folks:

This summer's derecho had peak gusts of 66 mph at BWI. That storm lasted a few hours.

Sandy is currently forecast to be right on top of us at 2 on Tuesday afternoon with 65 mph sustained winds. If we're really unlucky, those winds are going to turn through 180 degrees as the core of the storm blows through.

There's every chance that this will turn out to be nothing to write home about. That said, it's a really weird storm that has a lot of non-talking-head meteorologists raising their eyebrows. Take the handful of really stupid simple steps to prepare--make sure you have a few days' worth of non-perishable food and water, have a flashlight with batteries, fill up your gas tank, charge your devices and keep 'em off if the power goes out.

Hope this all putters out, but be ready for a bad one. It could well be.

Re:Vigilance and Preparation (1)

kvnslash (2292742) | about 2 years ago | (#41785375)

I fully expect power to go out for a few days or a week if it hits the DC/Baltimore area as predicted. As I'm sure you're well aware, above power lines suck balls, and they are everywhere in this area.

No! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41785083)

I'm British, you insensitive clod!

Re:No! (2)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#41785157)

Well, at least you need to put off trying to regain the colonies for a few days.

AWS (2)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#41785147)

I'm moving my instances and volumes from us-east-1* to use-west-{1,2}* just to be safe. The us-east-1 region has been rather unstable this year. I don't think will survive this.

Uh, not in the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785179)

Hmmmm...I'm in Louisiana and this one is not near me to worry about.

I plan on preparing tomorrow.... (1)

Ogre332 (145645) | about 2 years ago | (#41785217)

first stop: my local liquor store.

there was a hurricane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785219)

i live in Florida. Melbourne to be exact. There was a hurricane?

Nope, just following normal procedures. (1)

digitalmonkey2k1 (521301) | about 2 years ago | (#41785237)

"Several people I know in the mid-Atlantic region have been ordering generators and stocking up on flashlight batteries and easy-to-prepare foods."
Emergency supplies are always on site, including satellite phones (for some reason the idiots in charge think they'll work in a hurricane) and generators undergo monthly testing.

"Are you in the projected path of the storm?"

"If so, have you taken any steps to prepare for it? (Are you doing off-site backup? Taking yourself off-site?)"
Automatic nightly incremental backups to a server that is automatically backed up to SAN, which has an off site mirror. Combine that with good vendor response times, and you're set.

Re:Nope, just following normal procedures. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41785711)

"stocking up on flashlight batteries"

This one blows my mind. a good LED flashlight, like my 6 D cell LED unit will run for 14 days on one set of batteries. so for normal flashlight use that is about 4 months.

Do people buy garbage 1980's technology flashlights still?

Supplies (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785309)

First know that flying glass is a huge killer in wind storms. That is why you need to be away from all windows as they may give suddenly.
              People go nuts trying to buy food before a storm. Few think to have a sterno stove or some other easy way to heat canned food. Do not cook until all winds have stopped. There is no fire department, no police, and no medical care for days or even weeks. Do not start charcoal fires inside the home.
              Realise that grocery stores tend to be hit hard due to their large roofs. In our last Florida storm I had to drive 85 miles one way to buy food as all local stores had caved in or blown off roofs. You may not have electricity for weeks or even months after a storm. Generators will hurt your wallet as it takes a lot of fuel to keep them humming. Keeping enough fuel to power a generator would in itself be risky unless you have a very large lawn. Gas stations will close for weeks and the ones that do sell fuel may have all kinds of water and crud in the product.
                The best plan is to leave an area at the first hint of trouble and get hundreds of miles out of the zone. Very few will do that or can afford to do that. If things get really bad having a firearm and knowing how to use it may be a great comfort to you and your family. Frightened people who suddenly are cut off from the world can act out in their fear. Most people are helpful but some get really dangerous.
                      I speak first hand as being in Florida for over 50 years I have been in high winds all too often.

MurderDeathKillDIE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785319)

We're all gonna DIEEEE. Get all the MILKS andTP first.

Re:MurderDeathKillDIE (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41785693)

Mis read that. I thought you were stocking up on MILFS there for a second and was wondering, "wow and his wife is ok with that..."

Absolutely "prepped"... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785337)

Plenty of food, water, & even beer this evening (was going to head to a BIG Halloween party on an island with a pal of mine but, alas, he "blew me off" (nicely, & I told him "no biggie, I understand...") since he MAY be going home with a certain lady he dated before (his odds are good - imo, since she never got over him!))...

So, "that all said & aside"? Sure - Yea, I'm "set"!

* My area supposed to get "hit" with 40-50mph winds & massive rainstorms (common-place here though) starting Sunday night onwards...


P.S.=> Thus, this evening? I am getting back to the film "Cypher" -> (which has turned out pretty DAMNED good thusfar, has 1 of my fav. curernt stars in it, in Jeremy Northam), & sitting back with my cats eating some chow ("Piggy"'s one of them, sitting in my lap now & looking @ me type this, lol), relaxing + enjoying life on a nice night @ home (needed it)...

... apk

the end is near (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785387)

Downloading my copy of the interwebs right now!

Prepared vs Extemporaneous (2)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41785483)

Whatever you do, folks, do not be prepared. For preparation is terrorism [] and extemporaneous is patriotism [] .

Do not be seduced by the evil temptations of self-reliance. Trust in the one, the only, Authori tuh.

Re:Prepared vs Extemporaneous (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41785553)

I'm sure I'm on someone's list. Which is definitely superior to starving on a rooftop. Daughter looked over my stash recently and said "that's it. Come the zombie apocalypse, we're throwing canned goods at them."

Buy multiple wireless data cards (4, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#41785489)

The most likely mode of failure for internet access during Sandy is likely to be "the storm knocked out commercial power, then persisted longer than the battery backup power at your service provider's facility or tower".

From the research I did, it looks like the best bet for datacard/hotspot #1 is Verizon. Apparently, they have 8-10 hours of battery backup at all of their cell sites, and 85% (in Florida, at least; not sure whether the statistic was specific to Florida or applies nationwide) have on-site generators that fire up automatically & have enough on-site fuel to run for a week. They also apparently allow you to buy an unsubsidized data card or hotspot on eBay, and activate it for $15 per day (250mb data per day) in a completely adhoc manner, with no strings, minimums, reactivation/inactivity fees, or other sneaky charges.

For some reason, they seem to explicitly NOT allow "day pass" use with PCMCIA/Cardbus/ExpressCard devices, and I'm still trying to find out whether you have to activate it before the storm (or at least have working phone/internet service by some other means at the time you activate it), or whether you can literally buy a $13 EVDO datacard on eBay, throw it in a drawer as a really cheap insurance policy against loss of internet access during a storm, then pull it out, plug it into your laptop, and do the whole process -- payment, activation, and all -- using only the connectivity provided by the Verizon datacard itself.

Apparently, AT&T has a similar "day pass" deal. I didn't bother to research it, because I already have an AT&T phone (Galaxy S3), and since my whole goal was to find cheap "backup plan" options for getting online if my AT&T cell phone lost data service during a storm, I didn't bother to look into them.

For a longer outage, especially if you have Cable internet (which tends to go out shortly after commercial power is lost, and stay that way until the day after it's restored... at least, going by everything I've ever seen from Comcast in Florida), you might want to look into something that's cheaper and less stingy with data, like maybe T-Mobile. I wasn't able to find anything specific about their backup power situation besides references to them having a fleet of portable generators, which suggests that they're worse than Verizon (who already has fixed generators on-site, in place, ready to go), no better than AT&T (call it a hunch, but I suspect that whatever Verizon does, AT&T probably pays lip service to doing as well), and probably at least a little bit worse. My assessment: T-Mobile probably won't stay up until the bitter end of the storm, but if your cable internet is going to be down for a few days or more, they're probably the best option for days #2 and beyond. I'd expect that even if they go down during the storm, they'll be up and running within a day afterwards.

One caveat about used T-Mobile devices... I'm not sure exactly why this is apparently a problem unique to T-Mobile (or at least a bigger problem with them), but apparently it's possible to buy a used T-mobile device after getting T-Mobile to verify that the ESN is 'clean', activate it with your own SIM, use it for months, then have it unceremoniously blacklisted by T-Mobile for something the seller did long after it was sold to you. For example, if someone buys a device on a 2-year contract, replaces it with another, sells the first one to you, then later defaults on the contract. Apparently, Sprint and Verizon keep track of transfers, but T-Mobile just indiscriminately blacklists whatever ESN was on file under the original contract without bothering to investigate further to avoid collateral damage).

Right now, I can't recommend Sprint under any circumstances. Their 3G network sucks so badly right now (with the possible exception of the 3 or 4 places they've semi-finished upgrading), power loss is almost the least of their problems. After Isaac strafed Miami (taking down Comcast and U-verse for about 6-8 hours), I ran speedtest on Sprint & got 9kbps down, and something like 47kbps up. A dialup 56k modem would have literally been a faster alternative to Sprint at that point. Next summer, Sprint might be worth considering as a backup plan.

You can't totally ignore Sprint, though, for one simple reason: most of the prepaid mobile broadband carriers that exist right now and sell through places like Walmart are actually using Sprint's network. All I can say is 'caveat emptor'. Before buying a device for any of them, make DAMN sure that Sprint has acceptable performance in your neighborhood NOW, because it'll only be worse when everyone who normally uses Comcast/Fios/Charter/U-verse/BrightHouse/whomever for internet is stuck limping along with them for a few days, too.

One potential wildcard: if you can't get your hands on a cheap device for Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile, there's a longshot option you might be able to pick up cheaply: Clear. They don't advertise them (much), but they have day pass service too, and it seems to be about as good of a deal as T-Mobile's. Whether their sites will stay up throughout a storm, and keep running until commercial power gets restored, is anybody's guess. I know Clear's hurting financially, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the first place they probably looked to save money when funds started running out and they had to somehow cut costs. One caution with Clear: they're wimax now, but will be using LTE that's incompatible with everyone else for new deployments and upgrades. So, you should probably view any Clear device as a "throw-away" backup plan for a single hurricane season.

My own plan (for next year though, unless another storm appears to be heading for South Florida this year): Verizon wifi hotspot and cheap T-Mobile-compatible USB data stick from China to augment my AT&T Galaxy S3. Maybe, maybe augmented by a Clear or Sprint device if I can get one for under $10 on eBay.

Now... for anybody who knows...

Can a SIM card activated for T-mobile's $3 for unlimited calls/text/200mb data per day daily plan, or their $30 for 100 minutes voice/unlimited text/5-gigs data per month plan, be used in a data card or MiFi, or do they require specific daily/weekly/monthly plans for those (and where are they listed on their site, since I couldn't find them last night when I lookd)? I know Verizon explicitly accommodates adhoc day at a time usage. Do T-Mobile's plans support no-strings day/week/month use, or do they tack additional fees on to hit you for extended periods of non-usage?

Will any SIM activated for a hypothetical T-Mobile day/week/month no-strings/no-commitment data plan work in any unlocked mobile data device that supports HSPA+, UMTS, EDGE, and the rest? If you buy one that doesn't support 1700/2100 AWS, but you're in an area where they've already rebanded HSPA+ to 1900MHz, will it work for 3G at the best rate the device is capable of? Also, is T-mobile using straight 1900MHz for HSPA+ in rebanded cities, or are they also repurposing 2100MHz spectrum from their AWS license to create 1900/2100 pairs compatible with international devices?

Scenario: hurricane in progress. You have a laptop and local battery power, a T-Mobile MiFi or USB data card, and a T-Mobile prepaid SIM. No other means of communications with the outside world are availabe at that point. With only those resources, can you get the T-Mobile card activated for a day/week/month? For example, with an unactivated card, can you still access T-Mobile's own website (or equivalent) and/or make voice calls to T-Mobile itself (if you have an unlocked phone available) from an unactivated prepaid SIM card? Or would you be stuck in chicken-egg hell until you had some other way to get in touch with them after the storm? I know that with Sprint, even a blacklisted phone can place calls to customer service.

What would actually happen if I pulled the AT&T SIM card from my Galaxy S3 (non-unlimited data plan) and booted up an unlocked datacard or MiFi with that SIM card in it? Has anybody actually TRIED it? I'm guessing that AT&T aggressively fights back if the account has a grandfathered unlimited data plan, but it seems like they probably wouldn't be worth their effort to care if you did it with a SIM that had a 3-gigabyte data plan anyway. I'm guessing they'd go for the low-hanging fruit and automatically block its use anyway with an AT&T-branded MiFi whose ESN they recognized, but would have to manually research a comparable device imported from China with a foreign ESN they didn't recognize.

Yep. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41785495)

Beer. Check. Popcorn. Check. TV warmed up. I'm ready.

Re:Yep. (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41785679)

Heating a modern TV is not recommended, it will cause the electronics to fail prematurely. you should remove any heaters right away.

always ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785509)

In the eye and always prepared for a storm such as this.

Always (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41785535)

We live out in the country. We're always ready. Lack of preparedness is a city thing.

Not at all... (1, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41785667)

Do your worst mother nature... in fact I DARE YOU to make the hurricane come right at me!

Guarantee she cant make it to michigan... PBBBPBPBPBPT! Mother nature..... you aint got the GUTS!

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