Hurricane Sandy FAQ: How Not To Get Eaten by Your Labmate

We already know that Hurricane Sandy is going to kill us all. If the 75mph gusts or fallen electric wires in flooded areas don’t end our puny existence, we’ll probably be eaten alive by our lab mates when the supply of leftover seminar sandwiches runs out.

If you want to survive Hurricane Sandy and enjoy an epic post-apocalyptic survival snog, here’s what you need to know. For more in-depth information about MIT’s response to Hurricane Sandy and what it means for you, see our post, MIT prepares for the Frankenstorm.

For MIT emergency updates, 617-253-SNOW (3-7669):

Should I go to class on Monday?
No. MIT is closed to all non-essential staff on Monday, October 28

Should I go to the lab on Monday?
Sigh. Lots of students feel pressure to go in anyway, to demonstrate your dedication to your work or to keep your mice alive. It’s For Science, after all. If you do go to your lab, keep a sharp eye out for transportation updates and leave before it’s inadvisable.

Some of you probably sleep under your desk most nights anyway, but think of what will happen if everyone has to sleep under their desks, and your office fridge runs out (food in your fridge can last up to 12 hrs without electricity).  Stay home, and stay inside if you can.

I’m stuck inside, how can I avoid getting eaten by my (lab/room) mates?

I’m going in to the lab anyway. How do I decide when to leave?

  • MBTA: The T is remaining active as long as possible. For more updates, follow MBTA on on Twitter at @MBTAGM or sign up for alerts at (update: MBTA is urging customers to stay home and says service will be suspended at 2pm)
  • Bicycle: watch out for the windspeed. Beyond 20 or 25 mph, your bicycle will be jerked around, and you could get in an accident. We’re expecting up to 45mph, with 75 mph gusts.
  • Driving will become dangerous. You face the hazards of flooded streets, fallen trees, and downed electricity cables.
  • Walking: See above. Especially avoid walking in flooded areas
  • Train: All Amtrak Northeast corridor services have been halted. See Amtrak Updates
  • Zorb: not advisable
  • has posted an index of sources for transportation updates.

I Need Shelter, Fast. What Buildings have First Floor Card Access?

How Can I Prepare My Room / Apartment / Anti-Zombie Weapons Cache?
Jessica Pourian has posted helpful advice from MIT.

The City of Boston says to stay home and use the morning to get prepared. Here’s their guide to hurricane preparedness.

Hack Sandy


How Can I Help Survivors?


About J. Nathan Matias

Nathan develops technologies for media analytics, community information, and creative learning at the MIT Center for Civic Media, where he is a Research Assistant. Before MIT, Nathan worked in UK startups, developing technologies used by millions of people worldwide. He also helped start the Ministry of Stories, a creative writing center in East London. Nathan was a Davies-Jackson Scholar at the University of Cambridge from 2006-2008.
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