Tag! You're it.
Tag! You’re it.

A perfect storm, first 1991 and now 21 years later… I understand the semantic description of a perfect storm – which is when different weather systems, geographical and thermal elements coincide to make a big storm bigger; and bigger is apparently perfect – we are in America after all. But I do not entirely understand the technically of it. I do know that we are in a low pressure system. What I don’t understand is why my building’s hot water boiler doesn’t work because it is a low pressure system. We also have our gas stove not working properly – for the same reason: low air pressure…? I need to revisit my middle school text books. There was a time where we learned all of this ‘stuff’.

The perfect storm to me is being nervous about water leakage (anybody say Hurricane Irene 2011?), busted windows (neighboring idiots who leave their patio furniture on the balcony) and fear of losing power (I’m diligently, constantly charging everything and anything). It also means many hard boiled eggs in the fridge, lots of water and even more wine in the house. The relentless pounding of the wind against my north-east facing windows… no for a few hours but for what will be days is rather nerve-wracking and the window frames are staring to leak and Sandy hasn’t even had landfall yet… It’s going to be a long day and night. So this is a perfect storm – I’d hate to know what an imperfect storm is like.

I wouldn’t be a producer if the preparation for such a storm wouldn’t be approached with at least a minimum of “roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-it-done-in-an-organize-fashion” producerial zest. I’m not easily freaked out, but these tropical storms do have a very freaky element for me: Happy Halloween!

After Irene (which did freak me out) last year I ordered a generator – it’s really nothing more than a ginormous battery pack – it’s charged and ready to go – it has a built in AM radio and a flash light. The bathtub is filled with water so I can flush among other necessities. My cell phone and back up phone, laptop, toothbrush and iPad are charged and are being recharged incessantly.

Of course if power is down the wireless router and cable box are down too: no NEWS! Yikes. Back to AM radio (until that battery dies). Flash light, candles at the ready, fridge and freezer set to colder than usual so they will last longer; enough food in the house – not that I’d be at risk of starvation for a very long time. I’m showered and as clean as can be, all laundry is done. “Go” wallet (not bag) at the ready. Let’s have the festivities begin… well, I’m feeling a bit light headed actually – probably I’m suffering from the same reaction to the low pressure system our hot water boiler is. It has the luxury of shutting itself automatically down – I don’t.

I would imagine that the worst part of no electricity would be boredom – no lack of excellent books to read or re-read in my house, but I would guess that after a while, reading with a small flash light would get cumbersome, especially if punctuated with changing towels on leaking windowsills every half hour or so.

So, we sit and wait and hope (of so inclined, pray) for the best.

Post Sandy addendum:  A week later and we how now learned what a week of no power and dropping temperatures can do. 

All hands need to be on deck to help the communities that have no power, no gas, no food, no warmth and no houses… 

Personally I am blessed and feeling a good bit guilty for being fine and with power and not wanting anything when so close to me there are people who are hungry, scared and cold… 

To find out how to volunteer call 311, or go to www.newyorkcares.org.  Cash is what they need the most but neighborly compassion goes a long way too.

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