12140 Wickchester Ln Suite #100, Houston, TX 77079

Getting Prepared for Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit Category 3 or 4 when it makes landfall in North Carolina on Saturday evening. Check this post for updates.

UPDATE 8/26: Stats on Irene as of 2:00 p.m. EDT:

Sustained winds: 10 mph
Wind Gusts: 125 mph
Latitude: 31.2N
Longitude 77.5W
Pressure: 951.00mb
Movement: North at 14mph
Located: 300 mi SSW of Cape Hatteras, NC

ComEd in Chicago is already sending crews to Philadelphia in advance of the storm to help sister utility PECO with expected outages.

The projected path for Hurricane Irene sets it on course to hit the East Coast from North Carolina to New England this weekend, marking the strongest storm to hit the Northeast in two decades. This morning, the National Hurricane Center said that Irene is “forecast to become a larger than average hurricane,” and is now a Category 3 storm. (UPDATE: NOAA map of Irene is here.)

High winds are expected to impact Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Albany, Boston, and much of New England. Winds could be strong enough to cause structural damage in areas closest to the storm, but downed trees and power outages could be widespread and should be expected. Rhode Island as well as the Eastern halves of Long Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are at the greatest risk of tornado threats.

Philadelphia and New York City can expect to break rainfall records for the month, and heavy rain should be expected from Washington DC through New England.

What You Should Do

Before the storm:

  • Have several flashlights and extra batteries available. Candles can pose a fire danger – flashlights are much safer! Also, have a battery-powered radio available to stay updated on news.
  • Pack a hurricane emergency kit including at least a 3-day water supply for each person (1 gal per person per day), non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Include baby or pet supplies if applicable.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind including lawn furniture, bicycles, etc.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (be sure to check your manual) and keep them closed as much as possible so food can last longer.
  • Fill up your gas tank and take out some cash. Electrically powered gas pumps and ATMs are unlikely to work in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
  • Be sure to locate copies of important documents, medication lists, proof of address, deeds, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies.
  • Turn off and unplug sensitive electronics to prevent possible damage: television and stereo equipment, game consoles, and computer equipment.
  • Stay tuned on the radio and TV to find out if there are any evacuation orders for your area. Plan routes to shelters, and turn off utilities if instructed by authorities. Turn off or remove propane tanks.
  • Register special medical needs family members with local authorities in case of evacuation or extended electrical outage.

During the storm:

  • Continue listening to the radio or TV for information.
  • Fill the bathtub or other large containers with water for sanitary purposes such as bathing or flushing toilets. Localized water pumps may lose power.
  • Stay indoors and away from windows and doors. Close interior doors, brace external doors in case of extreme winds.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  • Do not go outside if the storm seems to have passed – it could be the eye of the storm!
  • Take refuge in a small interior room or closet on the lowest level of your home.

After the storm:

  • Stay away from downed wires, damaged or exposed electrical equipment, or trees or tree limbs in contact with wires or electrical equipment. Live wires do not necessarily look like they may be energized, so please stay away from such wires and report to your utility.
  • Be careful when cleaning up your property to keep pool nets, tree trimmers, ladders and other equipment far from power lines.
  • Generators should never be wired into your home’s circuitry. Any equipment needed to run on a generator (refrigerator, pumps, fans) should be plugged into the generator directly. Also, be sure to operate the generator in accordance with manufacturer guidelines, and in a well-ventilated area!
  • Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible. Move meats, dairy, etc into the freezer to stay colder longer. A partially full freezer can keep food frozen up to 24 hours, and about 48 hours if completely full.
  • Call your utility to report an electric outage. See our list here on how to do so.


Hurricane Irene: Major Northeast Threats” – Weather.com, August 25, 2011.

CL&P Says It’s Preparing for the Worst and Hoping For The Best” – Ridgefield Press, August 25, 2011.

Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist” – Red Cross.

Hurricane Irene New York: Mayor Bloomberg Warns of Possible Evacuations” – International Business Times, August 25, 2011.

PSE&G Prepares for Hurricane Irene” – Marketwatch, August 25, 2011.

Agencies Tell Residents to Prepare for the Threat of Hurricane Irene” – Carroll County Times, August 24, 2011.

Translate »


Here’s a chance to get 200 points every month in Spark Energy Rewards*

Points can be used on local shopping deals, dining, daily deals, travel,
and even gift cards. Terms for the rewards can be found here.

*Certain Terms and Conditions apply. This offer is available to first-time customers only. Customers must sign up for a fixed-rate energy plan. The plan may include a monthly service fee depending on the product. Use promo code which is showing above to qualify. Rate expires at the end of the term. Canceling or changing supply service prior to the end of the fixed-rate term may subject the customer to an early termination fee based on the product details. To be eligible to receive Spark Energy rewards, customers must enroll in a fixed term plan and maintain an active Spark Energy account in good standing (no past-due balance owed) for 45 days after the beginning of service. May not be redeemed for cash. This offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice prior to customer acceptance. This offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. This offer applies to services areas where Spark Energy LLC is active. The offer expires on 12/31/2021. See the Terms of Service and Electricity Facts Label (applicable only for TX) at www. SparkEnergy.com for more details.
© 2021 Spark Energy LLC. All Rights Reserved.