Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me


Photo sources: various facebook pages

I've lived my entire life, almost 60 years, in New York City in the borough of Brooklyn, and never have I seen the amount of destruction that took place here from a natural disaster as I have seen from Hurricane Sandy. The wind, the rain, and the high tide surge of sea and bay waters, all combined to bring severe flooding, loss of power, fires started from electrical transformers being ripped open and gas lines exposed from houses ripped from their foundations. The loss of life is still being determined, as each day new victims are being found in their destroyed homes.

 Photo Source: Wikipedia

Manhattan is an island surrounded by water, as are the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn and Queens, which are part of Long Island.  I've been noticing for many years that the height of these waters have been rising slowly and steadily.  Call it global warming or not, the fact that the polar ice caps are diminishing is certainly having an effect on the height of waters surrounding our city. It was inevitable that a major storm would bring flooding to these areas, yet I believe that many New Yorkers never believed how high or fast these waters could rise and the damage they could cause. Hurricane Sandy brought this new reality into focus.


My husband and I brought over a few boxes and bags filled with non perishable foods, toiletries, cleaning products and warm clothing to a local church which is collecting and distributing these items to a Brooklyn neighborhood hard hit by flood waters. The church's school is acting as a temporary shelter for families whose homes were totally destroyed. We went another day to help in the sorting and distribution of goods as we will probably keep going back as long as volunteers are needed to help.
 
As we drive through the streets of Brooklyn we see countless destroyed homes, cars and businesses.  The contents of flooded homes are at the curb sides, there are many uprooted trees and the lack of electricity remains in many hard hit areas.  I felt such sorrow for all that are suffering and count my blessings that we did not sustain any damage.  My husband's office building in Lower Manhattan was severely flooded and his company informed the employees yesterday that they will not be able to return to the building for weeks, possibly months!  Luckily they will able to work from home or sattlitte offices in the interim.
 
I'm sure you have all seen the heartbreaking images on TV, and know how much the hurricane victims in various communities of New York and New Jersey need help. The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are two organizations that have been providing much needed assistance and would welcome your donations. My husband and I have donated to both as well as local charities that are aiding victims.
 
I also thought about all the things this hurricane taught me:
 
If you are in doubt in any way about your personal safety and if you live in an area that is deemed by your local authorities as prone to damage in a hurricane or major storm, please evacuate well before the storm arrives. Nothing is as valuable as your life! There were many sad stories of people who died that stayed behind in flood prone neighborhoods, as they wanted to protect their homes and valuables from the storm or from robberies.
 
Trees are deadly.  If you live in close proximity to large trees you might also consider evacuating your home or at least stay far away from rooms that could be crushed by a falling tree. Many of the deaths that occurred in Hurricane Sandy were from trees falling on houses and cars. Large trees often have shallow root systems and high winds and heavy rainfall cause them to topple. A young couple in Brooklyn who were walking their dog during the early hours of the hurricane were crushed by a falling tree.
 
Be prepared for the worst!  I've always been the type to heed storm warnings and I've always made sure to have flashlights and extra batteries ready. Now I would add  a battery powered radio and a battery powered cell phone charger. I have seen portable battery and hand crank radios that also charge cell phones for sale online, and I am definitely buying two of them to keep one in my house and one my car from now on. Most likely your power will fail in a hurricane and you will be without power for a long time. Keep the phone numbers of your local municipalities, electrical companies and emergency services nearby, so you can call right away to report your outage and downed trees and get help.  If you feel there is a chance you may have flooding turn off your circuit breakers and gas lines if possible. Stay away from downed wires and do not enter flooded basement until you are sure that there is no live electrical charge in the water. As much as possible stay connected to the media during a storm--they will give out lots of valuable information as to impending changes in weather conditions and give updated warnings.  When high tide occurred during the hurricane and the greatest storm surge occurred my husband and I were very alert and ready to take precautions in case we were inundated with water.
 
Prepare a "Go" bag and have it easily accessible. In a satchel place fleece blankets, plastic ponchos, changes of clothing, perhaps a few packages of underwear and socks reserved to take with you in case you need to evacuate. In this bag place your hand crank portable radio/flashlight/cell charger, enough cash to last a few days, non perishable foods like granola bars and bottled water. Keep in it a list of prescription medication information and re-order numbers, the name of your doctors and a list of any medical conditions you have, your insurance numbers and your social security numbers which you will need in case you have to file a claim.   
 
Fill your car's gas tanks, and get cash. There have been long lines in New York as gasoline supplies run short and gas stations have no power to run their gas pumps. Many working ATM's are also in short supply. We also have a gas tank lock on our car's gas cap as it help deter anyone from siphoning off gas.
 
Be prepared to go without outside aid for 48-72 hours or longer.  While local authorities, the Red Cross and other charities, and FEMA will respond to destructive natural disasters, it often takes many days for them to organize and map out areas of the most need.  Have lots of safe drinking water on hand--as much as possible. Fill your bathtubs, large pots, any clean container with water.  Make sure to keep a supply on a high floor of your house in case you are isolated by flooding. Fill freezer bags with drinking water and fill any gaps in your freezer with them well before the storm.   Not only will the resulting ice help keep your freezer cold if your power goes out, the bags will also become a source of drinking water as they melt. Stock up on non perishable foods that do not require refrigeration and make sure to stock some food supplies on a high floor of your home if possible. If you have an electrical stove you might consider cooking a few meals ahead of the storm and have dry ice in a cooler available to store those meals in case your power goes out.
 
None of us ever expect to live through a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, fire, blizzard, or other natural disasters, but we should all be prepared! What would you add to the list? I'd love to have your advice in your comment. 
 
 
 
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63 comments:

Ola said...

thanks for sharing this personal experience! I hope I will never have to go through it...

RoeH said...

I can't even imagine.

Vee said...

So glad that you posted today as I was beginning to think you were on your way to Colorado or something. Many good tips here for survival. I don't think one could cover them all in one post...basic things like what to do with bathroom waste and how to stay warm without electricity. It certainly is sad to see so many suffering. My sister on Long Island got her electricity back today, but the other side of the street did not. People are helping people and that's a good thing. The big agencies may or may not get to help in the way we might expect. Take care...Stay well...Get out of Dodge! (My sis is even getting out of Dodge if they can get enough gas to make it out of there.)

From the Kitchen said...

While is is heartwarming to see the response from FEMA, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc., I know it is up to individuals to provide what they need to sustain life for at least a few days. On the other hand, who would have thought that NYC could be so devastated. I think you've offered very good suggestions. I thank you and your husband for your part as well.

Best,
Bonnie

Viki said...

I'm glad you survived the hurricane pretty well. These are such great tips. I'm going to print them out.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

It's always the storm surge that does the most damage and that's where most lives are lost. The water is so powerful during those storms. As much as I love Galveston I would never want to move there. I'm about 25 miles inland and that's close enough for me.

A friend in Florida told me about buying those solar stakes that people use along their sidewalk. They're pretty inexpensive. She said to put them outside during the day and bring them inside at night for light. After Ike we bought those flashlights that you wear on your head...kind of like a headband. My husband and son stayed for that storm and they both complained about trying to do things in the dark while holding a flashlight.

I can't help but wonder what will happen with insurance companies after they've paid all the claims. My guess is that the same thing that happened along the Gulf Coast after Katrina will happen up there now. The insurance companies will threaten to pull out of the coastal areas and a deal will be made with the state. The state will insure for Wind, Hail, and Hurricanes by putting everyone's money in a pool. The insurance companies will do the regular home owners insurance. We now pay close to $2,000 a year extra for the hurricane insurance and I read in the paper the other day that the state doesn't have enough money if something big happens. Great! We also pay extra for Flood Insurance. My friend in Florida tells me that she pays $3,000 a year for hurricane insurance. Where I live we've only had two hurricanes since I've been here. Alicia in the early 1980's and Ike in 2008. It doesn't seem to matter. Once they have a lot of claims that's it!

I sent my donation to the Red Cross last night. I remember how good they were after Katrina when a lot of people were brought from New Orleans to the Astrodome. I volunteered then and it was so sad.

Pamela Gordon said...

Pat, it is great to hear from you and that you are doing okay. These are really good tips you've suggested. We are on a well and septic system so I even drew off a couple of pails of water to use to flush the toilet in case the power went off in the storm. We always do that during big snow or ice storms too. I like the idea about the plastic bags of water in the freezer. I still can't imagine the devastation there and I almost feel guilty that I am going there with our choir in a couple of weeks to sing at Carnegie Hall. It somehow doesn't seem right. Take care. Blessings, Pamela

Barbara F. said...

Pat, thanks to you and Vinnie for your volunteer efforts. I tend to break down right away. I was so fortunate this time, but once I did lose power for 3 days in March and nearly froze to death, I learned to keep all the items you mentioned. I filled up my gas tank last Saturday, stockpiled as much water as I could carry and kept things charged. We are living in a very different and extremely difficult world. Something needs to be done to counter the effects of global warming. And I can't stress enough to those who live in Zone A or even Zone B, if authorities are telling you to evacuate, DON'T second guess them, leave! Still praying for all. xo

Pat said...

This is a wonderful post, Pat. I would not add anything. You've been very thorough.

Good to hear from you and we continue to keep you all in our prayers!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Good to hear from you Pat! My best advice is to heed the warnings. Also I have a wood stove and stacked wood in my vestibule, if my elec goes out at least I have heat. Hope you have a nice weekend:@)

ellen b. said...

Great advice Pat. I'm happy to see that map you posted, it really helps to understand the areas that were hit the hardest. Still praying for all that were impacted by the storm. God bless you and other volunteers who are taking the time to help and to donate goods...

pam said...

I can understand on one hand why some are not wanting to leave, just ride it out. I read about so many who had homes looted the last time they left because of the threat of a storm....but I say live and replace things. BUT hindsight is ALWAYS easier. We humans seem to have the thought, "it won't happen to me". It is wonderful to have God in the midst of all life can throw at you, to now live in fear, but asking Him for a sound mind to make wise choices is a habit we should all get into. Here in the Midwest we can often have NO warning of tornado's.... so many people have back packs waiting in their safe/safer hiding spot. I keep thinking I need to get an air horn so we could be found if buried under debris in the basement. It's been so interesting reading about what is happening back there. I think with the sheer number of people in a smaller area the issues are so different than here. It's not been unusual for us to deal with no power in the 20 degree winter because of ice storms. Our longest was 7 days without. But in talking with friends we realized that our more relaxed life style and LOTS of people with camping equipment we all get by. It's not fun but we all just stayed home and were able to get by. I was so surprised at the number of people interviewed who sounded like they had not a scrap of food in the house and no way to stay warm. We lived in 4 layers and stayed in sleeping bags and under blankets. Maybe like you have learned we have had to deal with these kinds of things so many times that we are more prepared than we realized. But I seriously think beyond life style (we're not dependent on mass transit) I think the huge number of people who were affected probably made the difference. Glory, here in our area if you had the same space as NYC there would be a lot less people. Less demand, fewer major needs....I can't even imagine trying to take care of all you back there during a crisis. In my mind it seems that a big city is so much more dependent on electricity. The falling tree thing....so very sad, and the mom whose two boys were swept out of her arms. Praying...it just seems like such a huge mess.

Chatty Crone said...

Millie this was interesting at the cost of others. I have never seen anything like this in my life. I hope I never do. I feel so bad for y'all. Thanks for all the advice and help. I pray for the victims here.
Sandie

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

First of all, I'm so glad you and Vinnie are okay. Your lives are the most important thing. You can replace anything else.

I think you covered everything I usually have on my list, including a "go" bag. I also cook in advance and make sure I have insurance & other papers handy in a zip lock bag to keep it dry just in case. Fill up with gas is also an important one, which you've mentioned. A portable radio to hear the latest info is important if the power goes out.

We lived in the islands for years and weathered a lot of storms, including a cat 5. You have to take care of yourself and not depend on the government, especially in a third world country where it's virtually non-existant.

My heart goes out to those who lost so much. Glad you aren't one of them.
Sam

Betsy Adams said...

My son/family lived through Hurricane Ike --which devastated Galveston and part of Texas a couple of years ago. He said --after that experience --that they will NEVER EVER do that again.. It was extremely scary for them --and yet, they sustained no damage to their home.

I guess if you go through once--you can then write the book on what you could or should do. Hurricanes do happen and so do tornadoes (in our area)... Mother Nature can be cruel--but that's just part of life unfortunately...

God be with all of the people who lost so much due to Sandy... We have contributed to the Red Cross.

Hugs,
Betsy

The Gathering Place said...

What a devastating storm it was! Your advice is so important and we all should be prepared. We live in earth quake country. Nature is a powerful force not to be taken lightly. I'm glad you were spared the damage and destruction.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Such good advice here, Pat...to heed the storm warnings and be prepared for the worst. You definitely have 'first hand' knowledge of what grief a storm can cause. I'm guessing the real estate market isn't real hot in your neighbourhood right now! Wishing you all the best as you recover from Sandy.

Scribbler said...

Your post is extremely well-written and clear. Your list of precautions needs to be required reading for everyone. Here in North Central Alabama, we have never had any flooding, but we have had Hurricanes that were still a Cat 1 when they went through here, and subsequently lost power for days. We are over 250 miles from the Coast. The tornadoes are another matter, however. We also have the occasional earthquake. Everywhere you live, there is something. If there is a Utopia, I have not discovered it. The old Girl Scout motto, "Be Prepared" is the best advice still.

Dimple said...

Thanks for the map and good advice. I live a long way from this storm, but that doesn't make me safe from everything!
I pray that the recovery will be steady, if not quick, and that people will continue to help each other.

Michelle said...

Pat, glad that you are okay. I think it is essential to have a generous supply of food, etc...before a storm/issue arises. Just as you said, you must be prepared to go without outside help. As a child we made it through a couple of blizzards and my parents have made it through a hurricane. You just never know.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

These kind of disasters are so much more than most of us can ever imagine unless it is experience first hand; but, Evan is on a mission to get a generator and be more prepared. It is really so sad how many and how much has been lost... so glad you are alright. blessings ~ tanna

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I think you about cover everything you would need in a disaster. I hope the recovery of your beloved NY and surrounding states comes quickly. My prayers are with you and all the victims of Sandy.

Mary said...

Pat~ So glad you are okay and without damage. The devastation is horrific and coverage has been heart breaking. All your tips are ones to heed, especially evacuating.

Patricia Reitz said...

Oh Pat - my heart absolutely breaks for everyone who was affected by the hurricane.

Snap said...

All good suggestions. We went without power for almost two weeks during hurricane Ike. Galveston had a 20 foot storm surge and you can imagine the damage. Houston got off easy. We had to boil water for several days when one of the water facilities lost power and there was concern about water quality. Hurricanes are not to be messed with.

Nellie said...

My heart aches for everyone who has been affected by this disaster. The destruction is unbelievable! You are doing such a wonderful thing helping those who are giving assistance! It is really difficult to fully prepare for an emergency such as this! I believe I would pack my car with as many supplies as I would need for several weeks and head out of town! I would not wait for the storm to come!

Sheila said...

A natural disaster like this is a real learning experience. By telling us about your experiences and suggesting that others share their suggestions you may her helping the rest of us be prepared. It's hard to even imagine how those who are still in dangerous situations without power, clean water or enough food are managing. Being prepared for emergencies is something we all think of from time to time but doing something about it and actually building an emergency kit or box should be top on everyone's list tomorrow.
When we lived in an earthquake zone each classroom in our children's school had a clean garbage can filled with emergency blankets, juice boxes and cereal bars. This would go with the class into the middle of the school grounds if there was an earthquake. Often schools assign an alternate place such as a church for the school to go in case of an emergency. Parents of school children would be wise to ask if there is a plan in place so they will know where to find their children if they don't already have such information. It's good to hear that so many people are doing what they can to help those in need.

Sarah said...

Pat, you've covered it! Thanks for this thoughtful post. Having lived through several serious storms on the Gulf Coast in my youth, I know first hand that a hurricane is a frightening experience. The devastation in its wake is heartbreaking. I'm sad for all who are facing loss from this storm, and relieved to know that you and your husband had little damage.

Annesphamily said...

Dear Pat! I am glad you and your husband are safe! It has been one awful experience from all the news reports. It is good to know you are well but there is much sadness for all those who lost their lives and their families. All the destruction is hard to fathom. Lots of prayer is being sent up! I feel badly for the people of Staten Island. They seems to have had such terribly devastation. Then all the loss of lives and destruction in New Jersey. We just keep praying. I admire you volunteering at the church. A doctor that I know has traveled on several occasions to Haiti to help with the destruction there. He said the sight of the destruction is almost unreal and he felt compelled to return on more than one occasion. He is an ENT/Plastic surgeon and spent countless hours in surgery helping those with life threatening injuries.
I wish we would hear from Deborah at Fairfield House in New Jersey. I just keep praying. Lots of areas hit hard by the storm everywhere.
Good to know you are safe and as always, you really write about the best things. Thanks for your kind heart Pat! Blessings, Anne

Willow said...

I've been waiting for your post to know you are safe and secure.
I knew you'd be on hand to help too, knowing your compassionate heart.
What would I add to your list? Make sure your important paperwork is either out of danger (above water level) or taken with you. Plan ahead for your pets--leashes, carriers, and food.
I concur with buying the wind up battery radio and car phone charger. We have both since we live in earthquake country.

Nens said...

I say, Hurricane Sandy was crazy. Of 20yrs of my existence I only knew Hurricane Katrina and Irene in foreign country that brought destruction but Sandy was/is really a destruction of NY and NJ most affected area.
During this natural calamity, being prepared is what we really need to do.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Pat, Such good advice to all of us. I will help in my small way by contributing to the Red Cross, I only wish I could do more. Hang in there and stay strong!

myletterstoemily said...

from your great tragedy we have gained a
wealth of information. i'm terribly sorry
for the suffering for your beloved new york.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Pat, I'm so sorry for all the troubles that NYC is going through right now! I was happy to hear that you & your husband were safe.

Thank you for all the good advice! Thank you for volunteering, You are very much appreciated!

Lorrie Orr said...

Pat, I was so glad to see your posts pop up in my reader. What a tragic event for so many people. I am glad you and your husband are okay.

I would add keeping cash on hand in case of such an emergency. We live in an earthquake zone and have been told to expect to survive up to one week on our own. I think people need to be able to survive without government aid. The situation is just so overwhelming. And it's wonderful to hear of people pulling together and helping each other out, as you and your husband are doing.
Blessings.

Cathy said...

Wonderful advice Pat and I am glad you are safe. Our hearts break for the New York area and New Jersey.

There is a nearby earthquake fault that reminds us it`s there once in a while. The big issue here is wildfire. We store extra pet food and water for our dogs and cats, rechargeable lanterns, at least a months supply of our prescription meds and we constantly update our first aid supplies. We keep bottles of water in the bathroom for flushing toilets. We freeze gallon bottles of water in our chest freezer. We are hoping to buy a used RV, providing a place to live in case the worst happens. We have a generator.

All the best to you,
Cathy

Lea Ann said...

Being land locked, I can't imagine what everyone is going through. The news clips have been jaw dropping. And for days ahead of the storm, the news was warning the masses of the exact result of the storm. It's a shame people don't heed those warnings due to loss of valuables. Pets are first on my list.

Daphne Bryson said...

Hello Pat, I am so pleased to hear you and your husband are safe and well. There is so much useful information in this post. I tend to keep all important documents, eg passports, birth certificates, insurance etc in a plastic zip lock bag along with all medication lists. I was visiting my daughter in India in March. During the second week, we returned home after attending a yoga class. We sat down on the chairs deciding what we were going to drink when we both were moved from side to side. The power went out. I knew it was some sort of earthquake as I had experience such a thing whilst living in Cyprus. We looked at each other and we both knew something was wrong. To cut a long story short, we collected all the important documentation, packed a bag and left and headed inland. It turned out there had been an undersea earthquake in Samoa and the Indian government were expecting a tsunami to hit the Bay of Bengal and travel inland. It was a very scary experience, but we had made the correct decision to leave. My advice would be, always listen to your intuition, if it doesn't feel right, then it isn't! Finally to say, my heart goes out to everyone who have suffered during this terrible storm and I send my prayers. Daphne

Happy@Home said...

I am glad to learn that you and your husband are safe, Pat. I have been watching the coverage of this super storm with such a sense of sadness for the people who have lost everything. It is so sad, I can only imagine how it must be to be living through it.
You give such good advice here for all of us. I think you've covered it all very thoroughly.

backroadjournal said...

My heart goes out to all the families that have suffered great losses. Wonderful tips that need repeating often. I experienced Hurricane Andrew that hit Miami and know about how horrible the devastation can be. Never presume that something like that can ever happen to you...you never know where nature's wrath will hit next.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am glad to hear that y'all are safe. The destruction has been amazing.
You are so right... head the warnings, be prepared and above all stay safe!
Sandi~ (not the bad one)

Kris said...

Oh my gosh Pat! I am here catching up on your blog posts. The last two are just devastating! How awful! You were so very fortunate!!!
Your post was very informative.
Stay safe.
Your scarf it done!!
: ) xo Kris

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Excellent tips.
I had tears in my eyes seeing all of the devastation the storm caused over the past week - I have such an affinity for NYC and I feel awful for those living in NYC, New Jersey and other places along the East Coast. I hope for quick recoveries.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

So glad you are safe, Pat. We don't have to worry about hurricanes here, but we do have tornadoes to worry about. And if the New Madrid fault ever acts up...well, I don't want to think about that!
I try to keep flashlights, batteries and candles on hand. I stock up on food, but need to get more water. We do have a pond, in case of emergency the water could be boiled and used. I do need to get a battery radio and I'd love to have a generator.
One of our young friends is a lineman and was sent to work the storm damage. He was told they might be gone until Thanksgiving. The destruction caused by Sandy is just unreal and so sad.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, sounds like you are a very organized person, you haven given great tips and lots of important information on this post. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those in NYC and NJ who have been hit so hard by this storm. The photos are devastating and sad. I am glad you are doing well and thanks for helping others. You are wonderful. Thanks for sharing, I wish thing are better soon for everyone there.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Pat, I can't even begin to fathom all the destruction that Sandy brought and permanent changes to the landscape and most importantly, so many lives.

It's so heartwarming to see families helping families in need!

Lovella ♥ said...

Dear Pat, I continue to think of you so often these days. I can imagine you must feel it is all a bad dream to see the devastation around you. Seeing the map of your area it sure makes sense in a new way how vulnerable your area is.
I was thinking about how a few months could have had you watching this from a safe place...but perhaps you can have some closure seeing it for yourself and seeing the area around you get back to normal.
Hugs.

Sherry said...

You have a lot of good tips and advice here. I can't imagine this much destruction either. So hoping all is right again soon.
Sherry

Cindy said...

I am so sorry to day by day hear of the devastation sustained in NYC and areas surrounding it. My prayers have been with al of you. I thought of you and prayed that you were well and not affected, and I'm so glad to hear that your home is safe. I have never thought of having a bag prepared in case of a natural disaster, but perhaps I should think about it. Thank you for your wonderful ideas on that.
Warm hugs, Cindy

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Great post full of important information. So glad you are okay. Valerie

Rosella said...

Wow - such devastation - It's almost unbelievable! So glad you are OK and able to help others. You have given much helpful information. We live far away from NYC and still felt the effects of Sandy. Thankfully no major damage here in Ontario but we continue to think of our neighbours to the South. Huge hugs to you all!

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing so much of your experience, as well as very helpful information, Pat. The news still coming from NYC and NJ is just heartbreaking. A few years ago we lost part of a large tree in our yard to a terrible autumn storm. It was so close to our house. Thankfully no damage, but we had the remainder of the tree removed and glad we did. We had two trees removes just a few weeks ago, and glad we did--too close to the house for comfort. We love trees. But the previous owners planted trees way too close to the house. Much as I love the trees, home safety has to come first. You ideas on having "go" bag give me much food for thought. Though we've not been in any danger so far for a disaster, life is never certain. Thank you for this today! ((HUGS))

Cathy said...

Wonderful advice, Pat. My family and I have been talking about what to do in an emergency. None of us are properly prepared. Our big threat there on the west coast is earthquake. The people affected by this terrible storm are in our thoughts and prayers.

Pondside said...

All your advice is applicable to any natural disaster. We try to stay prepared for earthquakes by having the necessary supplies - and the cranked radio and lights you mentioned are in our 'grab and go' bags. It is so terrible to see the devastation in your state and NJ.

Jacqueline said...

Pat, I am so touched by your post. My heart has just broken as I watched Mother Nature rip her way through. We have no power when compared to her, but you are so right, we can do so many things and especially listen and evacuate. How sad to lose life over things! We always have water, quick food to take and things you said, (we call it a 72 hour kit) ready to stash in the car. Our threat is earthquakes - unfortunately there is no warning on those. Our prayers are with you. I know that it soon disappears from the media while people still struggle for months or years!

GailO said...

It is still impossible to get near the RI shoreline that has been devastated unless you have a permit stating you have property or a business there...yet here one town inland life goes on as usual! If it weren't for the news and internet we wouldn't know how terrible this storm was! My heart breaks at every photo and story I hear. Donating to the Red Cross is the least I can do.. How wonderful for you and your husband to volunteer...what a way to say good bye to the east coast!

GailO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, if anyone understands this, it's those of us who have family and friends who have gone through it down here. My heart goes out to the NE. Mississippi and Louisiana still haven't recovered, but the people are amazing. Just like the people like you are.

My BFF lives in Queens and has been busy driving supplies to shelters, victims, etc. She and her husband have worked tirelessly. I just sent a donation to her in the mail. And I want to donate through the SA as well.

Know we are thinking of you. I'm so sorry you all have gone through this. The year we had three hurricanes in a row was a nightmare. In the first one, I stayed in St. A, and Mr. Magpie was in our residence. I was scared to death and decided we needed to hightail it out of the state with the next one. We did and went to see my sister in NC. The storm followed us there, and we couldn't get home!!! Then we finally got our house boarded up for the third one, and we waited it out. We were surrounded by big trees, and that is very scary. People unfamiliar with storms like this make the mistake of going out after the first leg, and then the thing whips around from the other direction. So it's best to stay inside like you say or evacuate. Life is the issue here.

Stay safe and warm, my friend...

XO,

Sheila

Paula's Postings said...

Fantastic tips Pat I think you have thought of everything.

La Petite Gallery said...

Dear Pat,
What a fantastic post. I have even copied the list, for myself.
Renee(daughter) just got her new car and I have been making a first aid kit, blankets and have to get a flare and flash light. Kitty
litter incase the Florida cracker gets stuck in snow she can put a towel and kitty litter infront of the wheel. You have one of the
best informitive posts on blogger.
Stay warm, Thanks
yvonne

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, Fred's business is working with the RC in a relief effort. As you know, they have a NYC branch, and we try to help as we can. We love our New Yorkers! Stay safe...

XO,

Sheila

Claudia said...

Wonderful help, Pat. We have to watch out for tornadoes. We "evacuate" into the basement! I was so saddened by the deaths by falling trees. I guess over the years, I have developed a healthy respect for Mother Nature.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Having lived in the Houston area we quickly learned the value of emergency preparedness, and make plans and provisions for sheltering in place, evacuating by car and evacuating on bike/on foot in various seasons.
May I add how important it is to have a good stock of cash in small denominations. No power=no ATM and no credit cards or check verification. Cash is king.
Stocking up on trash bags is huge for a sanitary purposes. When power goes out and water pressure fails, the plastic bags are used for toileting, and knotted between each deposit. Apparently this measure wasn't commonly used as we just this weekend read about how folks trapped in high rise apartments couldn't walk the multiple floors to carry water to flush toilets. Huh??? The article was very descriptive of the stench from overflowing toilets.
Forget batteries... Invest in a solar electronics charger. Under $100. Use a can of crisco and a wick for light...a can stays lit for a month!