We were warned about it for days — the impending hurricane that could cause untold destruction in New York. We were told through the newspaper to stay home and that some people would have to be evacuated to save their lives. In the end, Hurricane Irene turned out to be Tropical Storm Irene by the time she reached New York but I think we learned a few things.

For one, it is quite clear that no matter what, some people are just never happy. People were rightfully upset when blizzards rocked New York in December and January — despite the mayor of New York having perfectly plowed streets near where he lived, many New Yorkers were buried in snow. It was clear that the city was under-prepared.

When the MTA shut down and the city required evacuation in case the storm was really bad and it turned out to be a tropical storm instead of a hurricane, people still complained — this time that there was too much done for what ended up being a minor storm. Really? You were unable to go to the subway for a couple of days so that the subway system wouldn’t get damaged while people were riding it and possible hurt or kill someone and for this you complain? Really?

Another important lesson I feel I have learned is to always be prepared for the possibility that you may be stuck in your home — be prepared with plenty of non-perishable goods and water and things to entertain you that don’t require electricity. Books and candles, for example. The candles are for reading in the dark, naturally! Even if you end up not needing the water, it’s better to have it and therefore have a functioning toilet than not.

Yet another valuable lesson — ignore anyone in the mainstream media other than people in the meteorology department when it comes to weather events. There was a newspaper that showed the storm targeting New York — and it said so in its headline — as though the storm were a malicious force trying its best to destroy the city.

In the end, plenty of branches fell in Kew Gardens and there was even some damage to one of the buildings in my complex but we came out just fine, unlike some of the rather unfortunate people upstate who were significantly less prepared and got quite a bit of flooding. My father was out of power for days and had to throw out most of the food in his refrigerator. We should take the lessons of this storm and remember it for future storms and weather events.


  1. This is quite a right article, Gordon. The government worked it the right way this time. They were cautious and proactive. Our building Super lost his car when a massive tree fell on it in our parking lot. Friends in CT were without power for 10 days. It was a big storm and it deserved our rapt attention.

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