Hurricane Irene Help: Before, During, After

Irene may huff and puff, but you can keep your world from being blown away.

An employee boards up the windows of a store in Amagansett, New York, August 27, 2011. New York City ordered unprecedented evacuations and transit shutdowns as states from the Carolinas to Maine declared emergencies due to hurricane Irene. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Hurricane Irene has finished flirting with the Bahamas and is moving full throttle for the Eastern Seaboard. Cutting his vacation short, President Obama encouraged Atlantic-facing Americans to prepare for the worst. Hipsters in New York’s Lower East Side and Miami pensioners alike are facing forced evacuations. East Coasters all over can assume that a massive weather disruption is unavoidable. So, rather than pull the covers over the head and hope the roof doesn’t blow away, check the resources. Do what needs to be done, before, during and after Irene unleashes her fury on your or a loved one’s hometown.

What to do before the hurricane hits, during evacuation, during the hurricane, after the hurricane, and how to mitigate damages—FEMA has a collection of ideas.

The National Hurricane Center

Anyone curious to track Irene’s lurching path of destruction can follow its progress courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center.  At least, until the power goes out.

Ready America Hurricane Preparedness

Ready America is the federal government’s clearinghouse for hurricane preparations and reactions. Any organization or agency that people hit by the hurricane will need to weather the storm and recover from it is one click away from Ready America.

FEMA Hurricane

What to do before the hurricane hits, during evacuation, during the hurricane, after the hurricane, and how to mitigate damages—FEMA has a collection of ideas, activities/projects and funding sources people have used to reduce or prevent the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms.

The Red Cross

Toggle through the navigation bar, and you can go from seeking assistance to giving money and getting involved.

United States Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA gives step-by-step instructions on locating healthy drinking water and food, managing home or wastewater facilities, limiting the effect of flooding and molds, minimizing damage from pesticide, chemical, oil and other hazardous waste spills, and disposing of disaster debris and solid waste. The emphasis is on personal safety and harm reduction to the environment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Like so much of the best medical practice, the emphasis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site is on prevention. In fact, the word prevention is in the organization’s name—so they are very big on putting things in place before the hurricane hits. However, rather than chide late arrivals, the site explains the ins-and-outs of evacuation centers, of seeking health professionals and meeting the special needs of people dealing with chronic conditions and pregnancy. The CDC even offers advice on locating missing pets and, of course, presents a route to volunteer opportunities.

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