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Ready or Not? A Hurricane Preparedness Quiz for New Yorkers, Skeptics & Others

At-a-Glance List of Things to Do Before Hurricane Irene Hits


New Yorkers are famously skeptical. But sometimes it's smart to drop the attitude and get ready for things that are, gasp, just out of our control. For instance, 2011's Hurricane Irene is expected to be a whopper, delivering high winds, flooding, and disruption of the urban fabric of Brooklyn and NYC.

Ready or Not? Rate Yourself on Your Hurricane Readiness

Rate yourself on this basic checklist for getting through a major storm or hurricane in Brooklyn.

Caveat: This quiz is not pre-tested, peer-reviewed or scientific. But, with the exception of a few jokey bells and whistles for cool Brooklynites and cynical New Yorkers, the items on this list are all culled from various official hurricane prevention and emergency preparedness sources. Storm preparedness is serious business.

For more information on any item, see the more extensive 21 Things to Do to Prepare for a Hurricane.

How to Score Your Hurricane Readiness Quiz

The top score is 100 points. There are 20 questions. If you're doing great on any one question, give yourself a maximum of "5" down to a minimum of "0." If you're below 30 points or so, and there really is a bad storm that leaves you cold, hungry, wet and with a basement full of soggy gear, well, you've got nobody to blame but yourself!
    Personal Safety, Food, Water. Top Score: 45 Points
  1. Do you have enough food and water for three days if the electricity shuts off and there’s no refrigeration, or the water supply is considered temporarily unsafe?
  2. If you're relying on canned food, do you have a non-electric can opener?
  3. Do you have your essential prescription medications, drug store essentials, and any special supplies for babies, elderly?
  4. Do you have flashlights and candles and matches?
  5. Do you know if you are in an evacuation zone? How to find out if you or a loved one is in a NYC Evacuation Zone
  6. Do you have a battery-powered radio?
  7. Do you have a "Go Bag" in case you have to leave suddenly?
  8. Do you have an emergency contact sheet with key phone numbers on it?
  9. Do you have some cash ready, just in case?

  10. Your Belongings. Top Score: 20 Points
  11. Is your car, or your significant other's car, parked in a safe place?
  12. Have you tied down or brought inside whatever is outside and could blow or fly?
  13. Do you have your important papers in a plastic bag?
  14. Have you taken precautions against flooding, and stashed your belongings away from possible wet or flooded areas?

  15. Riding Out the Storm. Top Score: 25 Points
  16. Assuming that you are an Internet addict, do you have a way to spend the time indoors when the storm is raging, if there’s no TV or internet access?
  17. Along the same lines, do you know where that book is that you've been meaning to read all summer? That pile of New Yorker magazines?
  18. To forestall the moment when you are disconnected, are your mobile phone, Ipad, Ipod and other battery-operated electronics fully charged?
  19. Do you have a plan for feeding and sanitation for your pets?

  20. Your Community. Top Score: 10 Points
  21. Have you called any neighbors or friends who might be frail to help them get prepared?
  22. Have you been in touch with out-of-town relatives who might be concerned if you can't communicate for a day or two?
  23. Have you talked to your boss or employees about possible difficulty getting to work after the storm? More importantly, did you remember to cancel your plans at the Hamptons this weekend?

(Sources for recommendations: NYC Office of Emergency Management and insurance company communiques.)

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