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    Irene: Pop Quiz in Preparedness

    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, August 26, 2011, 8:43 PM

Ready or not, if you live along the US east coast, Mother Nature has just announced a pop quiz. Subject: personal and community resiliency.

By all accounts, Hurricane Irene is a big storm. The latest projections have it making landfall at North Carolina tomorrow around mid-day. From there it’s expected to march northward up the east coast, impacting a long stretch of the country inhabited by 65 million – 1 in 5 of the people in the country. Mandatory evacuations in several states have already been announced, including the lower-lying boroughs of Manhattan.

Our thoughts are with our with our readers, staff, and family living in Irene’s path. We hope you’re all able to take appropriate steps to ensure your safety as the storm passes over (and if you haven’t, we certainly recommend doing so before Irene arrives).

And we’re setting up this thread for folks to use – for sharing preparation guidance, reporting developments, asking advice, and providing emotional support –  in advance of and during the storm.

Many of you have been investing in resiliency for months or years now. Take this experience as an opportunity to identify where the weaker points in your preparations are. When the storm has passed and normal life resumes, you’ll know better where to focus your energies.

Also note how your neighbors and community react. Who is well-prepared and who isn’t? Which neighbors weather the storm with good attitiudes and which ones panic? Are your city’s/town’s services well-equipped to respond? Are there breakdowns in responsiveness due to lack of investment/infrastructure/expertise? All of this will provide good insight into what to expect from your community in future emergencies – and how you may need to amend your plans in anticipation of what *not* to count on next time.

And if you’re one of those who has yet to begin preparing in earnest, two things:

  • Read our What Should I Do? guide for direction on how best to focus your actions in the remaining time you have before Irene arrives in force. Prioritize securing sufficient water, food, and first-aid stores to last, should the storm knock out your power for two weeks.
  • Note how quickly store shelves deplete, as people rush to stock up in advance of the storm. Let this be a wake-up call to you. Emergencies, by definition, catch you unawares. As we enter a future where energy is less available to us, shortages of many kinds are likely to occur. When they do, they, too, will often arrive with little to no warning. Reduce your vulnerability by investing in your resiliency while you still have time to do so in a measured manner. And *don’t* be one of those contributing to the risk of panic during an emergency by rushing out to stockpile at the last moment.

Again, we wish all of our east coast readers safety amidst whatever Mother Nature throws at you this weekend. We’ve taken steps to make sure this site remains updated and running, even if the power at Martenson Central goes out for prolonged periods.

As you’re able, please let us know in the Comments section below how you’re faring.

best,
Adam

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