As some of you may know, I am relatively new to the prepping mindset, so the fallout from Hurricane Irene would be the first test of my preps to date. I own and live in Philadelphia, in a small rowhouse, so many of these lessons will be unique to that situation. So, the storm has passed, aside from continuing moderate rains. We (both my house and my neighborhood) suffered no real damage, thankfully. However, here's a few weaknesses in my plans that were exposed: 1. My biggest fear, due to Philadelphia's particular sanitary system (sewage and stormwater share pipes, an excellent design decision there...) was the possibility of the drainage system becoming quickly overwhelmed with stormwater and not only flooding the streets, but overpressure forcing water back up through the drains in the house. This could be not only catastrophic in terms of damage, but wholly unsanitary. Response: I'm looking into having a backflow preventer installed in my drain line. Luckily I only have a single 4" line connecting to the street. 2. The second biggest threat I anticipated, but failed to prepare for, was flying debris. I don't have a huge amount of windows, but just one of them shattering would have let a ton of rain in. Response: In the next few weeks I'll have constructed some plywood storm shutters that I can bolt into place in only a few minutes. 3. Luckily, my basement is roughly 30 feet above the record high flood levels of the nearby rivers. We did see some water leakage through the stone foundations though, but nothing more than a trickle. However, if we did see the storm sewers back up, we'd have a big problem; there are basement windows only a few inches above street level. Response: no idea as of yet. 4. I realized that while I had plenty of supplies for my wife and I, we'd likely have to take in at least 2 other family members. That would cut our food stock longevity in half, and it's already short enough thanks to lack of storage space. Response: encourage a preparedness mindset in neighbors and family members. I feel that this storm, though it did not turn out to be as bad as it could have, can help serve as a wake-up call in this respect. 5. I've known this for a while, but we're woefully understocked as far as fuel goes. We're low on candles, propane (I have a gas grill out back and a camping stove stored in the basement). Luckily, we didn't lose power or gas (we also have an NG stove & oven). Response: Stock up on fuel! Also look into getting a couple kerosene or oil lamps. 6. I've also known this for a while, but the storm brought it home: DO NOT count on emergency services in a large-scale disaster. Our already understaffed police & fire crews were swamped; I can only imagine what the EMT services had to deal with. Response: I feel we're decently prepared for this. I need to shore up the first aid kits with more major stuff like Quick clot, Israeli battle dressings, steri-strips, etc. and perhaps stock up on a bit more defensive ammunition. 7. We have a good deal of water stored, but no long term water treatment options. Response: invest in some pool shock and a decent water filter. 8. I don't have a good pair of rain boots. Response: Get some! All in all, I think we're on the right track. Anyone else in the path of the storm want to add their thoughts?