As of this posting, Hurricane Earl is a Category 4 storm in the Caribbean. Forecasters predict that Earl will move up the East Coast and pass 100-200 miles off of Montauk as a Tropical Storm on Friday night/Saturday morning (see Shabbat tips below). The heavy wind and rains increase the likelihood of flooding, fallen trees, blocked roads and power outages, especially on Long Island.
For more information (including an overview and NY area historic patterns and conditions), view an excellent presentation by I. Ross Dickman, Meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA's National Weather Service, New York, NY office.
The JCRC-NY recommends:
- Be informed. Broadcast and print media are doing a good job, but storms can be unpredictable. Pay attention to the updates. For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
- Plan and Prepare.
- Stockpile food, water and medicine. Organizations should alert their members and suggest that they top off their food supply and check that they have sufficient medication on hand in the event that they can’t leave the house. People should also have a reserve of water (it’s a good idea to freeze water in gallon plastic bags which can help to prevent the food in your refrigerator from spoiling in the event of a power outage).
- Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit for Home and a Go-Bag for Evacuation
- Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan
- Develop a Family Communications Plan
- Prepare your organizations for power outages
- Remember Shabbat. The storm forecast coincides with Shabbat which may require additional preparatory steps:
- Reach out to local officials. If you have special concerns over Shabbat (see below), discuss them with your local police of fire officials.
- Make decisions before the storm. The Orthodox Union issued Shabbat Protocols in Case of a Hurricane, written by Rabbi Kenneth Brander (now of Yeshivah University) with thanks to Rabbi Hershel Schachter for his guidance. While these protocols are an excellent guide to the issues of concern, consult with appropriate rabbinical authorities about specific guidance regarding the expected conditions of the upcoming storm.