I am sitting here writing today by way of my generator and the fact my cable service has been restored. I have no power. My entire area has no electric power.
I live on Long Island New York and am just starting now to recover from Hurricane Irene.
This was a storm unlike others we have encountered on Long Island. We have had our share of hurricanes over the years as well as tropical storms. We often have Nor'easters along with what is called white hurricanes. This is an island and we have our share of typical island problems with storms.
The one thing we do not have are earthquakes we can feel or tornadoes that cause devastation. Not until recently that is.
This storm was unlike any other that we have had . A hurricane usually hits with a furry , has a break as the eye passes - then hits again on the back side as it races on to the next location or out to sea. For us here on Long Island hurricanes are day or even less events that hit hard and move on. Not this storm. Not Irene.
We were told that Irene would hit us on Sunday. Saturday the people of Long Island were frantically running about trying to finish up last minute details so we could all hunker down and ride out the approaching storm.
It did not work out that way. By early afternoon Saturday with roads filled with families trying to stock up on whatever they needed strong wind and rain started to drench the people already forming flooded road areas and soaking the poor people trying to finish their chores. Wind was already hitting hard making it dangerous for all as trees and wires swayed as we all tried to finish up what we needed to do. No one told us the storm was going to hit a day early!
By late Saturday afternoon things were not looking good at all as the bands of this huge storm started to hit us . By Saturday night my power was out, my cable was out and my part of Long Island sat in the dark. The wind was blowing hard already and it was pouring on and off a day before the storm was to hit.
We were really concerned about what was to come if the outer bands of the storm had already damaged us leaving us sitting in the dark waiting for the actual storm to arrive.
The people were becoming nervous and acting out by speeding in their vehicles, cutting people off and doing extremely dangerous things. They were confused and frankly frightened. Already driving without red lights or street lights in drenching rain and hard wind was taking its toll on the public who all were simply trying to get home before the storm hit.
New York was shut down. No trains, planes or normal life could be found. Saturday without power, or phones or cable turned in to Sunday and the storm continued but in an odd fashion. In some areas it was a tropical type storm. It was nasty outside and rain beat at our homes and wind tore apart the trees while the power wire poles swayed . It was however not causing much damage beyond the loss of power.
This was not the case a street or two over. On a road a short distance away total devastation was taking place. ALL the trees were ripped from the ground, ALL the poles with live wires were thrown across the road and across yards or on houses , downed poles and trees crisscrossed like pickup sticks down the entire street .
Many houses were devastated with large trees crashing in to the houses leaving them smashed and drenched from the ongoing storm. It was a confusing nightmare. Some of the people were spared others were devastated. It was not typical of how hurricanes have hit in our past history.
The storm took two and a half days to pass our area. It was huge slow and strange. Word has it that mini tornadoes were touching down which explained the areas all over Long Island of mass destruction while other areas only felt a tropical storm. For us it was a new type of storm. Something different from the usual assorted bad weather we have endured.
When it was gone we were left with empty stores, empty gas stations and no power. Some places on the Island never lost power but everywhere there seemed to be pockets of complete despair surrounded by others with no damage at all.
I have to wonder if this is a new era of storms which include hurricane forces with many tornadoes which is a far nastier animal . I know that tornadoes can be part of any hurricane however this was just different. This storm was a different animal.
The thing I need you all to please heed is how important it is to be prepared for what we may now all be facing for years to come. The Era of 2012 in my opinion has started. The horrors of floods , storms , earthquakes and tsunamis may be our path for years to come.
I have been preaching for a long time to whoever will listen to prepare for the what may come as we are without question in the Era of 2012 and in full swing of natural disasters and world problems
Now from firsthand experience I can only tell you being prepared is the only way you will survive.
When this storm hit life as we knew it for many stopped. We went from normal easy living to being thrown back a 150 years in a few hours time. When a disaster occurs you quickly can find you are sitting alone, in the dark , with a hostile environment around you with only what you have at hand to keep you going, keep you alive.
I had lots of food and water on hand so I was lucky. Other people in my area thought they would wait until after the storm to run up to the local stores to pick up what they needed . What they found were locked dark stores, empty gas stations and dangerous travel as they navigated around fallen trees and downed power lines.
Many could not get off their street much less make it to a store. Flooded roads added to the danger. A few did drown in their cars as they were swept away by the rushing water that covered a local road.
If you did not have a generator you sat in the dark without refrigeration or any ability to function at all. If you had a generator but limited gas figuring out how to keep things going for days and days becomes a huge problem.
Nights without power in your area are very dark. There was no moon light for the first few days. You sat in total darkness. Candles were used however I now know how quickly you can run out of them . Battery lanterns , flashlight s and things of that nature are wonderful , however you need a ton of batteries to make it through a week of using them.
Those who were prepared are sitting tight waiting for life to return to normal. Those who were not prepared already are having a very rough road . They are becoming aggressive and angry. Life is awful when you have no way to help yourself or your family and many people here are learning that lesson the hard way.
Ignorance seemed rampart during this storm as well. Once we were without power those of us with generators still were able to watch cable TV as for a short time that was still working, Other people used battery operated radios to access the news. The news casters were spending time giving out numbers to call and web sites to access?
How could any of us call anywhere when the phone service was out and the cell phones shut down? Far more ridiculous was giving out web site addresses for information to half a million or more people without power or web access. I think some may have been able to access something with their lap tops however most were dead in the water. It was all but impossible to communicate with anyone.
One news cast had two giggling idiot young women showing footage of a large tree falling on some poor families home destroying half of the house. The two morons on the newscast laughed and laughed. I could not find the humor in a families devastation. As a society we allow this nonsense of media ignorance to flood our homes and lives. That needs to stop.
We were truly left to our own devices without the ability to contact anything but a emergency number (IF) we could get that to go through. It was not a good feeling and in my opinion a very dangerous way to do things.
Can you imagine if we are hit with a huge earthquake in these populated areas with only a portion of the public prepared to deal with the aftermath. It is a frightening thought. Can you imagine to be caught in a disaster with no way to contact your loved ones and no one to call due to downed communications or sub standard over loaded circuits or help lines? Instantly panic would take over the population and ciaos and fear would overrule civil behavior.
Each and every one of you must make sure you are as prepared as you can be so if a natural disaster or man made one hits your area you will be able to secure yourself and your family safely in your home for at least a week's time.
It is the only way you can assure you will make it to the other side of what may come without harm.
Do not think the authorities are going to show up within hours with restored services and a nice cup of hot coffee for you. It has been days now here where I live and we have not seen one power company truck anywhere in our area. Not one. Trust me we know as the people in my area have been out searching for them as dangerous wires, trees and poles still lay where they fell without any attention from anyone.
I am sure they will eventually get to us. I also know that a week or two without power is difficult . Those who decided they were not going to prepare are now one very miserable group of people.
Things are different now. The times ahead look to be full of natural disasters as well as manmade ones too . I always felt that this time in history will be a time when many harsh cycles will hit this earth and mankind will be the ones to pay the price. That is what we were warned about, that is what we seem to be heading towards.
Make sure you survive without harm. Pay attention to those who tell you to prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
I am going to hope tomorrow will be better than today for my neighbors. I also fully understand that from now on my family must at all times be fully prepared for what may come. I will restock all the supplies we used in this storm as soon as life returns to a normal state. I will also add more candles, battery lights and a bicycle to my list of things we will need. Once the roads are impossible to navigate unless your fond of walking long distances or own a horse a bicycle becomes the only logical mode of transportation. You can make it down the road and back a lot faster on two wheels than you can on two legs!
We also soon found out that long dark nights quickly get longer and darker without anything to do. We did not run our generator to supply light at night. We wanted to conserve our fuel so used candles and lanterns and battery lights at night. We quickly found out that reading, board games or playing cards were impossible for us under the light of candles only. I am going to buy a battery operated player and stock up on sale movies to keep so next time we have something to help pass those long dark nights. After a long day of doing things the old fashioned way you will find you are very tired at the end of the day. A warm meal , a little relaxation and a early bed time is all you will be up for as the next day will be more of the same until your area can be returned to the grid and life as you knew it.
Do not think the new wave of difficult things you watch on your TV screen are movies or something that will never touch you. Understand it is only time before your town is being shown as the next new disaster zone.
Be wise and realize the Era of 2012 is here and it is your hands and your s only if you survive or not when it is your turn in the barrel.