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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Mother Nature's Trick or Treat

Article first published as Hurricane Sandy: Mother Nature’s Trick or Treat on Blogcritics.

Okay, here we go again. We New Yorkers are getting inundated with dismal reports about Hurricane Sandy and, faster than you can say “Irene” (as in Hurricane Irene), people are scrambling for the essentials to survive the storm. Forget the zombie apocalypse, this storm has everyone trembling in their Halloween costumes. This certainly won’t be the Halloween for which most people planned because they are too busy preparing for what seems to be the end of time.

A quick visit to the store early this morning only confirmed that for me. I grabbed what I could find of water, milk, bread, and eggs and a few other things, but some people had shopping carts overflowing with food. I saw one guy wheeling out ten cases of water (maybe he has lots of kids), and there were many people with cartloads of food, milk, water, and batteries. The line for checkout took up the length of the store, and why they didn’t put on more than two cashiers amazes me.

But are we, the average citizens of New York, really prepared? More importantly, are our government officials, who got caught off guard for Hurricane Irene, more prepared this time around? Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency already. Check. Mayor Bloomberg is talking about evacuating low-lying areas of the city. Check. There is talk about closing schools on Monday. Check. At least this is all a start, but when the heavy rains and high winds come – and according to the weather service they definitely will come, what do we all do when the power goes out? What do we do if it stays out for days?

I know this hurricane is not a zombie invasion, but in these spooky days before Halloween it certainly feels like one. The problem is a hurricane is not something you can shoot in the head. From what I see on TV and in films, zombies can be dealt with. Yes, it is a challenge, but mostly because the surviving humans cause their own problems. A hurricane is a completely different story, and many people do not act with grace under pressure.

From what I saw this morning, people were scrambling for things like zombies fighting over someone’s small intestines. It will only get worse as the storm approaches, and the best thing we can all do is stay inside, batten down the hatches, and hope it isn’t as bad as they are predicting. If we do face an extended period of no power, things are going to get ugly around here and make those zombies seem like Barney the dinosaur in comparison.

Mother Nature has prepared a killer Halloween for us, and it seems the chances for a treat diminish with each passing hour, meaning the trick is something we are going to have to deal with no matter how unpleasant it will be for us all. Stock up on everything and remember candy is not real food, but those supplies for anticipated trick-o’-treaters may come in handy this year in ways we never could have imagined.

Photo Credits: Sandy – NOAA; zombies – basementrejects.com

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