New York City 090 225x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   HURRICANE IRENEI will repeat what many others will say before this day is over.” I survived Hurricane Irene.”  Now that I have that out of the way, I’d like to talk about my experience during this being my first hurricane.

Here in NYC, most of us feel that these things, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, only happen to those who live in other parts of the country. In fact earlier in the week many here felt the aftershock of an earthquake that took place in Virginia. There was another small earthquake near Albany, NY. That is a city in upstate NY.  So maybe we are not as removed as we thought.

We had been hearing warnings about this storm’s potential from our elected officials.  The Mayor and the Governor wanted us to understand that this storm could be very dangerous and we all needed to be prepared. There was a mandatory evacuation in the low lying areas of Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and lower Manhattan. I lived for a short time in Far Rockaway, one of the areas evacuated. We could see the Atlantic Ocean from our apartment. Although it was a very beautiful sight, it always worried me what would happen if there was a storm surge. They even shut down the transit system. I am 58 years old and I have never heard of the NYC transit system being shut down by any public official. The only time it was shut down was during one of the transit strikes, the last one taking place in 2005.  Since the system was to be shut down starting at noon Saturday, this forced me and I’m sure a lot of other people to stay home from work. I knew I would be able to get there but getting back could produce some interesting challenges.

Many here in the city thought that the mayor and the governor were over reacting because of the problems that happened during the blizzard in December. During that weather event it was clear that there was no communication between the many City agencies. There were many streets in Brooklyn and Queens that had not been plowed for close to a week.  There was also a fear that what happened in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina could happen here. I am personally happy that all of our elected officials in the tri-state area (NJ, NY, and Conn) all were on the same page concerning Irene. As a result of this team work, I feel that we all came out on the positive side of this storm.

Before the storm I moved in with my Dad and I’m glad that I’m here. At 87 years old, my siblings and I were concerned that living by himself could be dangerous for him. He lives in Jamaica, Queens in a large housing complex. Living here with him gives me the ability to stay on top of what he needs. I can make sure his prescriptions are up to date and I can take note of how he appears physically. He is a very proud and self sufficient. Talking to him on the phone never gave me a complete view of what was going on with him. This way I know what’s happening and I can react quickly if he needs help.

I will say again that I survived Hurricane Irene. What is more important is that I’m here with my dad. Although he doesn’t show it, I’m sure he’s a little relieved because he doesn’t have to live alone.


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