7 Things I Learned From Hurricane Sandy
by James Altucher: Why
I Won’t Vote
clean up some myths first: Hurricane Sandy is not good for the economy.
People in the media always claim hurricanes are good because of
the rebuilding. This is bullshit. Yes, people will be buying new
furniture, etc. But if it were good for the economy I’d come
and smash your house every other month and that would be even better
for the economy. So that’s wrong. It’s never good to
destroy hard-earned resources.
Sandy is not retribution for any societal ills. I’ve seen
“gays” blamed and I’ve seen a “two state
Israel/Palestinian solution” blamed and I’ve seen “global
warming” blamed. It’s none of those things. Death tolls
per capita per natural disaster have gone down since the 1950s in
developed countries so all of those suggestions are ridiculous.
Third, 90 people
have died and 60 million touched in some way by the hurricane. There’s
no way around it – natural disasters suck.
I live right next the Hudson River. Early Monday the Hudson River
was already climbing above the rocks and crawling it’s way
down the street. That was eight hours before high tide and some
guy was kayaking in the street while everyone laughed and the police
begged him to stop.
started taping up their doors and putting sandbags in front of them.
I’m always too late to the whole “fix-it” thing
so I asked someone if they were just handing out sand bags somewhere.
He laughed and said he bought them at the Home Depot a week ago.
“There are none left,” he said, and kept on taping.
Lot of stuff to do. I pretended like I had something to do also.
The alien mothership was going to land and destroy us all but I
was embarrassed that I didn’t know what to do in preparation
Time to get
Claudia. We spent about three hours taping garbage bags to each
door. She cut duct tape with her teeth. I tried to do that and got
duct tape all over my mouth.
Then we put
up bricks all around to keep the garbage bags secure. We did this
indoors and outdoors for all three doors we have that lead to outside.
Then we took all first floor furniture and put it upstairs. We took
all books on lower shelves and moved them higher. My Go board, which
rests on the floor, we put on the kids’ bed. We cleaned out
their closet so nothing was on the floor. We moved everything in
the refrigerator upstairs. We unplugged all the lights. Took showers
to take advantage of any last minute hot water. We charged up all
batteries on 4 laptops, 4 tablets, 2 phones that were also hotspots.
We drove our car a mile uphill (Claudia drove). We were ready to
that point something disastrous happened that I was afraid was going
to jeopardize the entire marriage. While we were taping
shut the outside door my wedding ring had fallen off and was now
gone. By the time we realized, we couldn’t go outside and
look. There was three feet of water outside and winds up to 50 miles
per hour. That ring was gone. Claudia is definitely going to think
this is symbolic, I thought. “It’s a natural disaster,”
I said. Of course the blame for our marriage potentially collapsing
under the weight of symbolism had to be the fault of a natural disaster
named after a woman. “It’s Sandy,” I said, “she
took it! She’s jealous.”
to tell me not to worry about it but I was afraid not what she thought
right then but what she would think LATER. I was living too much
in the future with a natural disaster happening right there.
When we thought
we had secured everything, we relaxed. Safe. No way the water was
going to get in. We were in there and the forces of Nature were
OUT THERE. Then a fountain sprang up in the middle of our kitchen.
It was like a baby penis peeing into the air while waiting for a
diaper changed. Then another one. Then in the dining room. Then
in the kid’s room. Then the living room. Then more of them
in the kitchen. Then a panel which led to the basement burst open
and water started streaming out. All the water was coming up from
underneath, not from outside. Zombies were vomiting hurricane filth
out of the depths. Within minutes the first floor had a foot of
water in it.
after it crept over the river, about 8 hours before high tide, 40
feet from my house
window, around high tide, it looked like the entire Hudson River
was sobbing past each house, surrounding them consuming them, all
the way to the train tracks. A giant tongue from outerspace come
down to lick everything in its path. Jonah being swallowed by the
whale. We are between the train tracks and the river. About two
feet of water was now making itself at home downstairs, checking
all of our cabinets for food, our shelves for paper, our closets
for clothes to snuggle into, our refrigerator for electricity. The
first floor belonged to Sandy.
We did what
every other couple in a once-in-a-lifetime worrisome situation would
do: we relaxed, got in bed upstairs, and watched Casino Royale on
the ipad until we fell asleep.
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© 2012 The
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