Hurricane Sandy is upon those of us that live on the Eastern Seaboard and it seems to be living up to its hype as a “super storm”. I know that personally, the electricity in my house has been blipping since last night and I fully expect to be in the dark for, at least, a few hours during the course of Frankenstorm 2012. However, the storm hasn’t hit New York yet and is still some distance away. We are expecting that the storm will make landfall sometime tonight, however many of the “Zone A” areas of New York City have already started to flood as well as beach communities in Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. For anyone who is still looking to prepare themselves before its too late I thought it might be helpful to have a few ideas on ways to keep your head above water–literally–just in case. This is by no means everything you should be doing just a few helpful tips.
Make sure you have food and supplies.
I know this sounds pretty obvious but I’ve been monitoring social networks and some people just aren’t thinking about what they need. The idea in stocking up on food is dependent on the idea that you may be without electricity for a little while. Dry cereal, peanut butter, dried meats, water, and anything that doesn’t have remain frozen or be cooked (especially if you don’t have a gas stove) would be good items to keep in your pantry. While you’re at it make sure you’ve got bandages, rubbing alcohol, batteries, matches, flashlights, and candles. Stores will be closing soon so the sooner you go and get what you can the better.
Know your evacuation route.
If you don’t know where the closest shelter is find out now while you have power and you have an internet connection. You don’t have to evacuate, especially if you haven’t been mandated to, but you might want to know where you are going and how you are getting there just in case. If you live in a building or in a neighborhood with meandering streets (especially in low lying areas) you might want to think about your route out of the building and through the neighborhood. Better safe than sorry.
Keep your mobile devices charged.
In this day and age we don’t have rely on phone lines to stay in communication. In fact, its the best bet. Make sure your phones and wifi enabled devices are charged and your USB wires are in a common place (while your at it pool your candles, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, and matches to the same spot). Another good idea would be to keep any laptops you have full charged so that should your power go out you can use them to leech some strength into your phones so that you can keep in contact. Suffice it to say that should your power go out you may want to shut all your open apps and save your video editing for another time…as much as I hate to miss out on my video editing time.
Have an evacuation bag ready to go.
Especially if you have little ones it would be important to have a bag with some essential things ready to go just in case you find yourself in an evacuating situation. Essentials for the grown-ups might be nice too. A few changes of clothes, some cash (if you have any), toiletries (toothbrushes, toilet paper, wash cloths, towels, and soap), and anything young ones might need. Keep it packed an accessible. You also might want to keep your raincoats and boots out and ready to go as well.
Have a contingency plan.
Speak with your loved ones about where and how you should meet up should you be separated. You never know what might happen if you are evacuating, knowing where you should meet up once you get to a center or after a storm will be key in assuaging any fears or worries you may have should you be separated.
While this is by no means everything you can and should do, these are just something that will help you keep safe in the future. Those of us who grew up and live in Zone A communities are used to this sort of thing, but with a “super storm” like this brewing you can never be too cautious. God bless, stay dry, and be safe.