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New York Attorneys: Got Hurricane Plan?

By Robyn Hagan Cain on August 26, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Hurricane Irene may be in New York City as early as Sunday evening. New Yorkers, already shaken by this week’s earthquake, are nervously facing another natural disaster.

In the path of one more of nature’s little challenges, please note that if you need to contact the Second Circuit, they provide emergency information on the court’s website and remind practitioners that they can get updated information on the operating status of the court by tuning into 1010 WINS on the AM dial and on WCBS (2), WNBC (4), WABC (7) and WNEW (5).

This morning, one of our Second Circuit lawyer friends asked the Facebook universe, "Do I need to board my windows? Do I need a battery-operated radio? How does one board windows in a brick building?"

We spent a number of years living through hurricanes in South Louisiana; as far as New Yorkers are concerned, we're hurricane experts. With that in mind, we've developed FindLaw's Hurricane Plan for Lawyers, helpful right now, especially for those in the NY area of the Second Circuit.

  1. Bring your work home. Hurricanes are an excellent opportunity for doc review. No one expects you to answer your phone or respond to email, so take this opportunity to write a memo or appellate brief. Bring home a few legal pads in case your laptop runs out of power.
  2. Charge up and power down. Hurricane Gloria shut New York City down in 1985. If you thought a power outage in 1985 was bad, consider what it's like in the era of laptop computers and smartphones. Charge your electronics before the storm. If you can't live for a few days without your phone or computer, you may want to purchase backup batteries for your electronic devices. Also, if you lose power, turn your electronic devices off when you're not using them.
  3. Flashlights and candles. You need light to work. New York apartments are not known for natural light, and there's even less natural light during a storm. While we like the ambiance of candles during a storm, years of living in a hurricane-prone state taught us that flashlights are your friend. You can't rely on air conditioning or open windows to cool your home during a hurricane, and candles make rooms hot.
  4. Windows. It's hard to keep working when you're cleaning up broken glass while gale force winds blow rain into your home. Most New Yorkers cannot board their windows, so try to mitigate potential damage by removing projectiles from your balcony. If you're still worried about a window breaking, tape a large piece of cardboard over your window; even if you have to deal with replacing a broken window, you probably won't end up with glass in your home.
  5. Alcohol. We're not kidding; alcohol is an important part of a hurricane plan. There's a reason why people in New Orleans have hurricane parties; there's really nothing else to do during a storm. Pick up a few bottles of wine to go with your water and non-perishable foods.

Good luck facing Hurricane Irene, New Yorkers, and keep billing through the storm.

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