Like planes lined up on a runway, the tropics have gotten quite active. There is Hanna, and Ike, and the future Josephine, all expected to be hurricanes (Hanna already is) that are waiting to take turns moving around a Bermuda High and testing the long odds that the NYC area and Long Island will see a long overdue hurricane. Unlike New Orleans, which luckily escaped what could have been a much worse storm in Gustav this weekend, NYC and Long Island are woefully unprepared for anything close to a Gustav. A Category 2 storm (96-110mph), it is argued, rightly, would pose far more a risk to NYC than to areas more accustomed to such storms.
By far the most devastating to reach our shores was the "Long Island Express" storm of 1938 that levelled Long Island and literally redrew the map and made Montauk an island for a period of time. The scary part is that Long Island has developed exponentially since. And NYC, just check the flood plain map, the NY Stock Exchange under water- not good.
It may be a long shot, but it is always important to be prepared. At any time we could face our test.
Waiting For The Big One (NY Times)
Ready New York: Hurrican Guide (NYC.Gov)