How Victoria's Secret saved the National Guard from Hurricane Sandy

Why do we love Noah Shachtman and Wired's Danger Room blog? Because they break very important stories like this:

On Monday night, Hurricane Sandy hit the armory of the New York Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Regiment, leaving the soldiers without power, hot water, or anything but the most rudimentary means of communicating with the outside world. So the next morning, the Regiment’s officers made an emergency plea — to the producers of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

As they had done for the last three years running, the lingerie company was holding its annual television event at the Regiment’s historic armory, located at 25th street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. For the show, the producers had hauled in eight massive 500 kilowatt generators. Of course, the producers said, we’d be happy to help. Hours later, the lights flashed back on.

“We were dead in the water until Victoria’s Secret showed up,” says Capt. Brendan Gendron, the Regiment’s operations officer.

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  1. You mean we spend literally trillions on our military and the national guard in our largest city can’t even keep their lights on for a few days in an emergency. Where did all that money go?

    1. Our military spending is reactive. And when it’s proactive, it’s paranoid.

      Meaning that before this crisis hit you could see the money being spent in the subway: 3 cops, 1 white shirt & 3 TSA guys at most subway stations randomly checking commuters for… Who knows what… I guess the cops get aboout $50,000 per year to start, the white shirt gets $80,000 & the TSA folks might be $60,000 per person.  That’s a lot of $$$ for nothing.

  2. Show’s you where our priorities are, when the people responsible for responding to disasters have worse equipment then Victoria’s Secret.

    The US spends more on the military then the entire rest of the world combined, and can’t afford generators, again, for the people responsible for responding to disasters.  Hell, there’s an entire fleet of untouched tanks; I’m sure you could use their engines to generate some power.

    1. The short version is that you can’t focus fluorescent lights because they don’t use a point source.

      1. Still, 4 mW is a hell of a lot for a venue that size.  It’s in the upper realm of a big-budget stadium rock concert.  Stage lighting fixtures don’t go much above 1kW, so even allowing, say, 100kW (number totally made up, I’m not a sound tech) for the sound system and cameras and backstage utilities that’s still enough for almost four thousand lights.  I’ve been in that armory; you could probably fit four thousand lights in there but it would be very silly.

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