Things are pretty calm on and around Long Island now. The bright sun has been out and it’s predicted to be beautifully sunny for the next few days. Torrid summer heat will mean almost record breaking temperatures approaching the mid 90s.
Sounds great, right?
Slowly but surely, the utilities and the retailers are pausing. They’ve heard about the havoc– the over hundred mile wind and rain damage that Hurricane Earl is causing far south in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.
It was just a couple of days ago that gas stations were reducing prices to levels we haven’t seen awhile. Reducing prices even in anticipation of a busier than usual Labor Day weekend travel period.
But Hurricane Earl is causing businesses on Long Island as well as up and down the East Coast, to review their plans, adjust their pricing and prepare for the hordes of shoppers that are beginning to trickle in before the flood begins.
Remember the quick tornado-like storms that hit Long Island and other areas back on June 24th and then again in July? Remember how most people weren’t prepared? Remember how Tree Services seemed to come out of the woodwork?
This time, with the clock ticking, and even though the professional weather forecasters are hedging their bets about the track of Hurricane Earl.
On Long Island in particular, the main utility, LIPA-the Long Island Power Authority, is sending out email messages and getting the news out that the time to prepare is now. Storm preparation brochures are being sent out. The utility websites offer plans and suggestions about what to do in the event that the hurricane hits. Information and instructions are being distributed now.
In the event of a potential evacuation, we’re being advised to fill up our gas tanks–so much for short or no lines. Fill up ASAP.
Town governments are making sure that they are prepared for the unexpected, making sure, for example, their reverse calling programs are in place to notify area residents with recorded updates. Local governments are also checking into opening evacuation centers in schools and other facilities where available.
Terms like Offices of Emergency Management are taking on significant importance as the hours move toward a potential devastating rain pattern.
Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, canned food supplies, pet supplies, contact information, changes of clothes…anything you can think of that you would need in an emergency is worth seriously thinking about getting right now.
Radio stations, TV stations, newspapers and in today’s instant news information arena-websites, tweets and emails are taking this all very seriously.
When people say that Long Island in particular is due for a major blockbuster hurricane, one has to wonder if Hurricane Earl is in fact, the big one.
Stay tuned. And stay safe.