Hurricane Irene is a Wikipedia">North Atlantic tropical cyclone that inflicted extensive damage to Caribbean nations before making landfall in North Carolina, on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The ninth named storm, the first hurricane and the first major hurricane of the 2011 season, Irene formed from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that showed signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. It developed atmospheric convection and a closed cyclonic circulation center, prompting the National Hurricane Center to initiate public advisories on the tropical cyclone late on August 20. Subsequent convective organization occurred as it passed the Leeward Islands, and by August 21, it moved very close to Saint Croix. The next day Irene made landfall near Puerto Rico, where high winds and intermittent torrents caused significant property damage.
The hurricane strengthened as it passed through The Bahamas, becoming a major hurricane, Category 3 hurricane or higher on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Meanwhile, the storm caused extensive damage to the islands. Curving toward the north, Irene skirted past Florida with its outer bands producing tropical-storm-force winds. It made landfall over Eastern North Carolina's Outer Banks on the morning of August 27. Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least seven deaths; monetary losses could be as high as US$3.1 billion according to preliminary estimates.
Source: The OU
Please consult with your own congregational rabbi in specific instances where a hurricane is expected.
If a hurricane is happening on Shabbat, stay home!
Try to prearrange with your rabbi to have the congregation lain two parshiyot on the next Shabbat.
If there is no electricity on Shabbat and the storm is over AND if civil authorities declare the area safe, Minyan should take place only during daylight hours.
If there is electricity, services are held as regularly scheduled.
Carrying permitted for life/limb threatening situations.
Carrying permitted for individuals who need medical attention without which a person's functionality is compromised, (even for a bed-ridden headache). In this case carrying should be done, only if possible, in an irregular fashion (i.e. carrying medicine in ones belt or shoe).
Carrying permitted to allow a baby, infirm seniors or a child traumatized by the event to function without compromise. In this case carrying should be done, if possible, in a irregular fashion (i.e. two people carrying or wheeling the stroller/person.)
Use yahrzeit or hurricane candles lit before Shabbat placed in designated locations.
Hang/place lit flashlights with fresh batteries in key locations before Shabbat.
When necessary (to take care of children, to eat, etc.) and there is no other light a non-Jew can relight or change batteries
If not having the light may create a life threatening situation, you may do it yourself.
Radio should be left on in a side room
Channel should not be changed
Volume on radio may be adjusted on Shabbat. Better to keep it on low for it preserves the battery and only raise it when necessary.
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