I am much less worried for those of us in the southern areas because we have been there and done that and we really know what we are doing down here. You guys dont. If Irene continues on the path she looks as if she is heading, you all in the major areas of PA, NYC and RI, and Boston are fixing to get it good. That is a whole lot of people. I know you know how to do cold and ice but Im not sure you know how to do a major Cat 2 or 3 hurricane. You need to be preparing now. If you can leave and go visit family inland by Friday, go. If you can afford a motel even a hundred miles inland...go. If they tell you to go to a shelter...go. If they tell you to go to a shelter, make sure you take pillows, blankets, handheld games for the kids, a battery radio, extra batteries, medications, a cooler with juice boxes and energy bars, if you have a blow up mattress take that, kennel your animals on Friday if you dont live in a brick house, make sure insurance papers are in a fireproof safe or a security box at the bank...or mail them to a relative out of state. (copies) Im thinking here. Guys...this is going to be hard on you. You may be without power for days. Make sure you get plenty of cash out of the bank. Fill up the cars. If you have generators, get extra gas. Get extra batteries for your cell phones and make sure you have car phone chargers. Also you can buy a thing to let you charge your laptop and plug stuff into your cig lighter that needs electricity. Its like 40 bucks. Plenty of food you can eat that doesnt need to be cooked. Also gas for the grill or charcoal so you can eat food that is going bad in the freezer. If you live in an apt and dont have a grill, they sell little tiny habachi ones at the grocery store that are disposable. Dont get umbrellas because they just blow away but do make sure you have rain gear...even if its only trashbags to wear. AND dont go outside in it to look at the wind. It will blow you away too! If it gets calm after it is really windy...thats the eye of the storm...more wind is coming. Stay inside. I just want everyone to stay safe.