Saturday, August 27, 2011

Emergency Preparedness - part 1

Sign on door of lingerie boutique, Town Shop, Upper West Side
New Yorkers don't scare easy.  We're cynical, we believe very little we see, hear and read, and particularly so from the media, here in the media capital of the United States (I guess we realize how much spin is in the recipe, because we're the ones baking it.)  So, I wondered how we'd be responding to the warnings, the evacuation mandates, and the heeding of the shop-till-we-can't-lift-another-Poland-Spring-bottle directions.

As usual with us New Yorkers, I saw it all yesterday.  The subways were busy, the sidewalk cafés were full and the grocery stores were emptying out in an orderly, almost party-like fashion. (I laughed as one young man walked by with his arms full of large tubs of Ben & Jerry's, and he responded with a knowing smirk - that he was indeed going to have to eat quickly if the power goes out.)  The biggest surprise was the overflowing nail salons - did I miss the memo requiring picture-perfect finger and toe nails during a hurricane, or are a lot of women just preparing for some overnight dates necessitated by a closed subway system?  (Remember the Blackout Baby Boom of 1965?  No?  Well, I wasn't here then either, but it's urban legend in NYC, and perhaps there's a Hurricane Baby Boom to come.)  
Water bottles on the N train
At Fairway last evening, doing a little unofficial visual surveying, it seemed that the barest shelves and those garnering the closest attention were the water and bread shelves (depleted by 10pm) and the snack aisles.  Today I'll see how the liquor stores are doing.  

Of all the preparedness lists I received from helpful friends, the most interesting item was coffee - make pots of coffee, I was told, to avoid the grumpies in case the electricity goes out.  Oh dear, I received an email from Joe Coffee that their store near me would be closed both today and tomorrow - a weekend without Joe OR the subway.  Unthinkable.

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