I live in Cliffwood Beach, NJ, close to the path of Irene. I have observed the preparation for the storm and I have gotten an education on how differently people react. First, I have to say that Governor Chris Christie has made New Jerseyans feel safe, as he seems very prepared and ready, and he is not taking things lightly. He has also been “very real” giving his awareness speeches. I applaud him for this.
Despite all the warnings, I have observed people taking the arrival of Irene very lightly – having parties, planning on getting drunk, or staying in danger zones that are mandatory evacuation. I know people who are not ready, even with the basics of water and can food. Their believe – “Nothing is going to happen.” They just don’t seem to want to hear it.
I have also seen people who at the time of this writing have not secured their stuff outside – many of this things, with the possibility of turning into dangerous projectiles that may damage other people property or even lives.
For the ones planning on partying and getting drunk, think of your family, and the importance of being alert enough to get them to safety if they need you. There are plenty of times to get drunk and party, and during emergency alert is not one of them.
I have observed that most of the stores here in local Jersey are almost empty. I am not sure about today, but water is certainly almost gone. I had to visit two places yesterday to be able to buy water ( single small bottles since the 24 pk kind was gone in my area). Affordable wood panels were almost gone at the local Home Depot – I had to buy two panels costing $20 each, to cover large windows. At least it is a good sign that people are getting ready with supplies. It also makes me think how low in supplies the local stores are, and in the event of a large emergency, they may not be enough for everyone.
I hope that we don’t get hit hard by Irene; it has certainly been an education prior her arrival.