As Hurricane Irene closes in on the New York metro area, folks in Verona are tackling one last round of preparedness. Some of it is the things that the Verona Police have already asked you to do in and around your yards. Some of it is a step beyond: We heard quite a bit of hammering on our early morning dog walk today.
But since the Scout motto is “Be Prepared” and Verona has quite a large scouting program, we wanted to hear its perspective is on preparedness. Walter Koroluk, the pack committee chairman of Verona Cub Scout Pack 32, was happy to oblige. “To preserve perishables, I would make as much ice as you can (or buy it) for use in coolers, etc., in the event of power failures. It would also help to turn efrigerators and freezers to their coldest settings now.” Scouting isn’t just about self though: “Check with neighbors now,” Koroluk added, “to see if they are prepared and if they need help, especially the elderly and those with disabilities. Also discuss how you might share resources, e.g., coolers, generators, etc. Maybe develop a plan to keep in touch or check up on each other during hazardous conditions.”
With winds expected to reach 85 mph, one of those hazardous conditions might be broken windows. Koroluk advises taping windows with duct tape or masking tape. If that’s not possible, electrician George Anderson advises closing blinds and drapes. “If windows break due to the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home,” he notes. Test your sump pump now and, if you are going to use a portable generator, follow these safety tips. “If you are setting up a portable generator, complete the set up and test your unit prior to the rain,” Anderson says. “Be sure to keep your generator outdoors and away from windows, doors and garage doors to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.”
We had to go outside Verona for one last piece of hurricane preparedness advice. The Discovery channel show Mythbusters took on the question of whether it is better to open or close windows in a hurricane. The English-language clip below is just a snippet of the show. For the full test, your only option is to watch it in Spanish. Bottom line: The open windows myth was busted.