It is approximately 8AM in NYC and the storm is overhead. Winds and rain are not as dramatic as elsewhere in the city but this area is over 50 feet above sea level and closer to the North Shore. Winds and rain were enough overnight to down some trees and many are without electricity. The storm is 1/2 over and as the winds now shift to come from the North, more damage and electrical outages may be seen.
You must develop almost a three dimensional perspective to consider potential water damage. Part of the city is underground. Basements, subways, and utilities are located below and subject to flooding. These hatches cover steps leading to basements. Located in the front of stores they permit easy deliveries. Water also can find an easy access into the stores and some establishments will cover them with rubber mats.
While much of the city is masonry due to fire regulations, these awnings are fabric over a metal frame. In very high winds they can become like a sail. Fortunately this storm was not so severe. For the same reason all my potted plants found a temporary home indoors.
Roof systems in the city are either “flat” or pitched. Many pitched roofs in NYC are covered with asphalt shingles. When they wear out, they curl and break off easily. This leads to leakage at the height of a severe storm.
A UPS that can provide enough stable current to allow you to safely turn off your computer, but it can have another use in an emergency. Charge your cell phone battery, power a radio or other small electronic device.
It is hard to keep up with storm issues if you can’t see them. These flashlights let you see the moment the power goes out. Keep them plugged in. There is a three position switch: on, off, and on when the power stops. I keep one near the circuit panel and several around. There is no wondering where you put the flashlight and it is always charged.
Your first line of defense is your roof. Then all the gutters must be clean and able to direct water away from the building. Very importantly the ground must be sloped away from the building. This is a very common mistake. But in spite of the best efforts, water may seep into a basement and a pump is required. It should be in a pit. It can have other subterranean pipes leading into the pit. This pump found some use during the storm which has passed now. The pit has been flushed with fresh water and a little pine oil to keep things fresh and get ready for the next storm…
See: In the Cross-Hairs of the Storm
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