The OEM meeting was brief, concise and to the point.
Irene is expected, as I mentioned earlier, to be in our area around 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. With the new moon, high tide in Raritan Bay is expected to peak at about the same time. That means all the run off, which would normally flow off to the Bay, will really have nowhere to go. Wonderful.
Mandatory evacuations are not permitted by law in New Jersey. Residents in the flood zones have been told that they can shelter in place, if they desire - but that NO emergency services will be made available to them during the height of the storm. Of course, that will not apply in the case of imminent loss of life, i.e heart attack or stroke. Official shelters are being opened in Woodbridge and Edison. The American Red Cross does not have the facilities to open shelters in every town. If anyone from South Plainfield wishes to evac to a shelter, we will get them there.
I signed up for second shift at the OEM. First shift will be from 8:00 PM until 1:00 AM, second shift will be from 1:00 AM until 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. My area of responsibility will be to maintain Amateur Radio backup communications between South Plainfield and Middlesex County and the New Jersey OEM. Fortunately I will not be alone. Greg K2KGG will be there with me. Always good to have each other as backup.
As of this point, Irene is crawling up the coast at a blitzkrieg like speed of 13 MPH. My shift tomorrow morning will end as the proverbial "matter" starts hitting the fan. Of course, I can maintain radio comms from the house, if needed; but for the very worst of it, I want to be with Marianne and Joey and Cara. They are the first, foremost and utmost concern that I have at this point.
We were also informed that the State has decided that, if the number of trees downed becomes too numerous, that the grid for the entire state will be turned off and that emergency repairs will be conducted AFTER the worst is over. We have had the second rainiest August in history this year. Let's pray these trees keep their roots underground.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!