We have a fair number of readers in the Northeast, many of whom will be facing a long day or two as Hurricane Sandy bears down.
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We don't have any great advice for you guys, other than not to mess around and get out of the way. When Fran came through Raleigh, it had become a tropical storm rather than a hurricane, but it still did a ton of damage. If your local officials tell you to boogie, you should take it seriously.
Actually, we do have one piece of advice: whatever you do, if you have a car, make sure your tank is full. Aside from the fact that there will be shortages for some time, and when the power goes, the pumps go with them. You won't be able to fill up for some time.
So when you are able to get out and forage for supplies, and the odds are you won't find them locally, you'll need to be able to get a good ways away to find stuff.
We made this mistake during Fran and had about 1/4 of a tank for a week. Not smart, considering that you couldn't find ice - or anything else - this side of Winston-Salem.
On the positive side, if your experience is like ours, you'll find lots of acts of kindness and generosity from people you didn't know, and hopefully you'll be on both ends of that equation.
When we did head towards Winston-Salem to get supplies, we saw something on the way back which we have never forgotten: a vast convoy of out-of-state utility trucks rolling down I-40. It was an unbelievably welcome sight.
There are always a lot of heroes in a disaster, but not many more welcome than these folks. If you see them working - and they'll work around the clock to restore service - thank them, ask them where they're from, and if you can, offer them a drink or a bite to eat.
These guys are going to be putting in 18 hour days for the foreseeable future. Many of them will come from a long ways away and they'll appreciate being acknowledged for doing an amazing job under impossible circumstances.
Also, if anyone wishes to use DBR for communications or to try to contact someone, you are welcome to post something on the board or we'll post it on the main site if you'd like.
We'll be thinking about you guys and praying that it's not as bad as it looks. Either way, if we can do anything to help anyone, you know we'll do our very best to do it.
Hang in there; things will get better.
There are a lot of people we're thinking of as the storm draws near, but someone who sprang to mind quickly is coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony's.
Hurley has pulled off miracles at the school, but they've always been on a shoestring and next year is never assured.
We've never been there, but it's just just a few blocks from the waterfront. Given their perilous financial condition, it may be a significant blow.
The school is also not far at all from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, both of which are at serious risk.
Going to be a long couple of days. Godspeed, everyone.