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Writing on the Wall

The not-so-calm before the storm



I am ready to report. Camera? Check. Batteries? Check. My journalistic instincts have kicked in, wondering what everyone is doing and wanting to tell everyone else what they're doing. Reporting on what we're told to do, reporting on what we're suppose to have in our "go bag" (mine includes Pop Tarts and birth certificates, in order of importance).

We cut our vacation short to come home to East Rockaway. My husband and I drove to Austin, Texas, then to New Orleans, then Florida. Then we got to stay for dinner with my sister for what should have been a nice 48-hour stay, but had to leave the next morning to beat the North Carolina evacuation.

So here we are -- and I once again, have become part of the story that I must report on.

I am writing my column as a blog this weekend. Here are some of my observations:

Saturday, 5:40 p.m.: the calm before the storm

I am reporting that it's eerie out there. This is the proverbial calm before the storm. Just went to get some last-minute items, store was closing at 5 p.m. People may be staying in their homes on the South Shore, but they are not out walking around. Smart.

Neighbors are still putting up boards on their windows, but most just tape, in a criss-cross pattern.

I, like probably everyone else, am in front of the T.V. and the Internet, noticing even the slightest change in the report. Wondering how they chose their adjectives (did they use a thesarus, and look under "terrible hurricane terms"? Then must change the station, weather-report overload. Where is "Everybody Loves Raymond" when you need it?

Went to the store yesterday, got what I thought was necesary, but that would keep if the fridge went out: beans, cookies, bread, peanut butter, Ritz crackers (the Pop Tarts, as I said, made it into the "go bag."

I feel ready, but not really. I think we'll be OK, but have to report on what doesn't go OK, too.

Sunday, 1:30 a.m.: Thought it would be quiet out there, but the police scanner is busy tonight. Lots of "audible" alarms going off, probably due to the weather; a tranformer fire in Valley Stream, tree and wires down in Malverne; fire in East Rockaway, don't have official info on that, yet; Getting windy, rain beating down. Just like I did when I packed my hospital "go bag" I am starting to eat the snacks out of my family's hurricane bag. They taste better than those from the cabinet for some reason.

Lots of people on Facebook networking, reporting what's going on in their section of town. Lights just flickered, T.V. and computer had to reboot.

Check back for more updates tonight.