Sunday, August 28, 2011


I went to bed about 11:00pm and woke up at 4:00am to a Notify NYC text message saying a Tornado Warning would be in effect until 4:15am for Brooklyn and Queens. I turned on the TV and had to wait a few minutes to find more specific information. Since there are so many weather issues over multiple states, even a tornado warning seems to be put in queue for reporting on some stations. The storm cell they issued the warning about seemed to be north of us and moving towards the area of LaGuardia Airport in Queens.

I walked over to Sterling's room and asked her to go sleep on the couch just to be on the safe side since her bed is right next to a large window. She and I are both native Kansans, so we know to take tornado warnings seriously, and she went to the living room without questioning it. We've both agreed that the freakiest thing about this Hurricane for us is the potential for small tornadoes to pop up. The Weather Channel reporter said that the conditions surrounding these tornadoes aren't normal (obviously) and you can't see or hear them as you normally would. So even though that specific danger zone seems to have bypassed us, we're both trying to play it safe.

One of the specific neighborhoods mentioned in the warning was Astoria, Queens. I decided to text two of my friends who live in Astoria, just in case they were sleeping and not aware of the tornado warning in their area. I debated about sending them a note at such a crazy time in the morning, since they are adults and very capable people, but I decided I'd risk annoying them to make sure they knew. I think they are both home alone this weekend and I'm feeling a little protective. Teach, my Kansan friend in Astoria, texted me back in short time to say thanks. That made me feel a little better about sending them a note.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vanity Comes Before a Storm

My roommate and I are all settled in to wait out the approaching hurricane. We've stored extra food and water, and plenty of flashlights and candles. Now that the transit system is shut down, it seems that most other people are also waiting quietly at home. The streets are strangely quiet and the air in the apartment is thick with humidity. We are not expecting any weather that's too crazy before tonight at least, so before bed I will fill the bathtub and move a few things away from the windows.

We live in the middle of Brooklyn, so we are far from any of the evacuation zones. The NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zones map is below with a red dot that shows where we live.

I've actually found that waiting for this storm is almost dull, now that we are all ready (without meaning to sound flippant about such a serious matter). But instead of feeling bored, I am looking at this as a chance to have a very quiet day at home, and so far it's been nice. At some point, I think I will clean my room. Sterling said she may scrub the floors. If the electricity holds out I will watch a little TV and try to catch up on a few emails. If the lights do go out, we have candles to read by.

After taking a three-hour nap this afternoon, I decided to shave and shower so I don't feel like a complete slob sitting around the house all day long. As I was shaving, however, I began to wonder if anti-slobbiness was my real reason for getting cleaned up or if I am just thinking more like my grandma did during a rough storm that hit my hometown on the morning of July 5, 1987. I remember my grandma telling us that when the weather started getting very bad, she got out of bed and got dressed and woke my uncle up and made him get dressed because if a tornado did blow them away, she didn't want people to look up and say, “Look at that man and woman flying around in their nightgown and underwear!”

After giving it a little more thought, I haven't decided if cleanliness or vanity is my real motivation for getting spiffied up, but I suspect it's a little of both. Either way, I'm all clean and ready to snooze out in front of the TV for a bit.