|Battery Park, Monday 8/29|
I am not, by any means, downplaying the devastation that Hurricane Irene caused up and down the east coast this past weekend but where I live, the effects were very minimal compared to what we expected.
We did almost everything officials told us to do, except evacuate. We technically live in Zone A but if we crossed the street, we would be in Zone B.
So we decided to take our chances and ride out the storm. We brought everything in from our terrace, bought the necessary survival "supplies" (flashlights and candles), filled our freezer with bags of ice and our bathtub with water. And of course, we bought some non-perishables that we could eat if we were without power.
This seemed to be an excuse for everyone to buy junk food and not feel guilty about it.
In the end, after all the preparation, it pretty much felt like any other stormy summer weekend... at least where I live. Like Bloomberg said, "we need to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best." And that's what we did (prepared for the worst) and what we got (the best case scenario). We were prepared for disaster but we were lucky enough not to feel the harsh affects that were expected or that were experienced in other, not so far away, areas.
A lot of people are complaining that officials overreacted and about the inconvenience of the mass transit shutdown and having to evacuate lower Manhattan. However, there is a flip side. If officials hadn't taken these pre-cautions and the hurricane had been as bad as originally predicted, then we would all be saying how irresponsible they are and what a poor job they did. So, unfortunately for them, they were in a no win situation. In my opinion, the actions they took make me feel confident that in the event of another emergency, the city is capable of efficiently handling evacuations, shut downs and clean up so that we can resume life as usual as quickly as possible.
From this experience, I gained a few things. The first is perspective. You can't please everyone but you have to do what you think is right and hope for the best. I also gained an umbrella that was blown down from the terrace above, a giant piece of sheet rock that was blown off the terrace below and 2 lbs from all of the junk food I ate in anticipation of the big storm. Oh well. Today is a new day. Time to start fresh and make the next right decisions to get back on track.
I hope everyone else was lucky enough to escape the hurricane safely and without any major damage.
Have a great day!