Friday, October 01, 2010

East Coast Super Soaker

Here on the East Coast we've had a few days of rain, saturating the ground.  Last night we got another heavy storm which dumped about ten inches of rain in my area.  Some places got up to 21 inches.  That, plus the saturated ground resulted in widespread flooding.  The local news is currently showing some deep flooding in Delaware County, including a half-submerged school bus.

When I pulled into the parking lot at my train station this morning there were only a handful of cars.  I parked, turned the radio to the local AM news station, and pulled up SEPTA's web page on my Droid.  Service had been suspended on my train as well as the two other lines I can use as a backup to get into center city Philadelphia.  Parking a full size SUV in downtown Philly would cost me at least $25 for the day, plus getting home would be a real PITA.  At that point I decided to just work from home today.

Some things to keep in mind when dealing with storms involving heavy rain and wind:

  • Pay attention to the weather reports on the radio, TV and/or web.  Keep an ear open for flash flood warnings.
  • Related to that, a smartphone can be very handy for accessing situation reports on the web, aside from communicating via voice, SMS, and email.
  • Keep up with household maintenance such as your gutters, drainage ditches and make sure that any trees near your house are trimmed back.
  • Be aware of road and mass transit conditions, so you don't get stranded somewhere.
  • If possible, have alternate routes, but be aware that you may be stuck in one location for awhile.
  • Since you may get stuck somewhere for awhile, keep enough cash and a credit card with you.  It's also a good idea to keep some emergency supplies in your vehicle.  Don't forget a poncho.
  • Do not try to drive through deep water.  You won't know how deep it is and you can't see what's in it, which could damage your car.  Just as bad you could get stuck.  In some situations you may get swept away.
  • Employers should give strong consideration to allowing employees to work remotely via VPN or other remote access technologies like LogMeIn.

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