Hurricane Shopping in NYC: And Then There Were But Keychain Flashlights Left

A weird week in New York City is only getting weirder. On Tuesday, for the first time since 1884, earthquake tremors were felt in the Big Apple; which, not surprisingly, came with no warning from earthquake prognosticators. Now, NYC is bracing for its first hurricane since 1985. (Any readers game for trying to calculate the odds of NYC getting hit by an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week, I’d love to see your estimates.) As I write, I’m watching out my window as people in the building across the street tape their windows. Which reminds me, I need duct tape!

Now that the MTA has announced that all NYC public transportation will be shut down beginning on noon Saturday, people are out in force doing some last-minute hurricane shopping. So we decided to venture out and do a little reporting on what’s left, and what’s not. I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and there are four drugstores, one  hardware store, and a RadioShack within a three block radius of my apartment. As of 2:30 this afternoon, there were no full-size flashlights left, a scant amount of duct tape available ($8 for 60 yards), and zero D or C batteries. At the hardware store, a scrum broke out among a few elderly ladies over a box of headlamps that were left. Yes, headlamps. The best we could do was a set of mini candles for $1.99, and a key chain flashlight for $9.99.

Things will surely get worse tomorrow, especially with Hurricane Irene drink specials popping up at bars around the city tonight. People are bound to wake up in the morning hung over, and unprepared.

Assuming many of you live in the mid-Atlantic and are prepping for Hurricane Irene, we’d love to hear your stories of Hurricane economics at play.

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  1. Elizabeth N. says:

    I have nothing smart to say to this post. Just wanted to say thanks for the post, it made me chuckle, and best of wishes as the hurricane comes. Hopefully all the preparation will be for nothing and that things will be back to normal by Monday!

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  2. BSK says:

    I always love watching what people buy at the grocery store. I’ve seen people buying gallons of milk, 20 pound bags of flour, loaf after loaf of bread, and dozens of eggs. Seriously, people, how much French Toast do you anticipate making? If power does go out, most of that stuff will be useless after a few days anyway. And if it’s less than a few days, you don’t need all that food. Yet, people give in to the panic. Crazy. How often does the average person use flour? Unless you are a hardcore baker, it’s not often. And I doubt making fresh-baked cookies is a priority in a disaster.

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  3. GreenerGreener says:

    If you’re planning to get a radio or flashlight for emergencies get this one – http://greenergreener.com/eton-fr160-the-best-emergency-radio-with-flashlight-review

    It’s got a weather radio, AM/FM radio, and LED flashlight and it charges with a solar panel or wind-up hand crank so you don’t have to worry about batteries.

    Now you can listen to the radio while you’re power is out and you’re wondering what to do with all the eggs, milk, water, and toilet paper you bought :)

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