Posted by Lorren on October 26, 2012
A storm is a’ comin’. I’m not talking about a political storm, although that is on the horizon, but there is an actual storm coming, if you live on the East Coast. The media has dubbed it “Frankenstorm” on account of its nearness to Halloween; like Frankenstein, it is a monster that you don’t want to mess with (was Frankenstein really menacing? I never actually read the book). Anyway, there are things that you can do NOW to be prepared. Don’t wait; the longer you wait, the bigger the chances that it will be too late.
I wrote an article about preparing for a snowstorm that you might want to check out. Here are some of the things that you might want to keep in mind as the storm approaches:
- Right now, make sure that you have all of the basic supplies that you are going to need. Don’t delay, because even the most basic supplies will sell out. Make sure that you have enough toilet paper, medicine (if you regularly need them), diapers (if you have a baby), water, and food. Keep in mind that the electricity could go out (if it’s bad enough and you live in a rural area, there could be a possibility that you could be without power for days); you want to have food on hand that you can eat without electricity. Technically, you can eat a lot of canned food without electricity if you have to. Make plans, because doing so will help keep you from panicking. What would your family eat? When I was working in Italy, I always did a presentation on terrorism after the lady from the Red Cross. She suggested that you keep a few “comfort foods” on hand so you feel a little better if things are bad. These could include chocolate, chips, crackers, or other junk that you really like. Nutrition is of course, your top priority, but if you can, a few comfort foods in a storm won’t hurt you too badly.
- If you are in a storm and lose power, things could get very chilly. Generators are already selling out in the Northeast. Make sure that you have blankets, sleeping bags, sweaters, long underwear… whatever you can to stay warm. If you have a fireplace, you’ll want to have plenty of wood.
- Emergency gear like flashlights and radios. I prefer to go with products that don’t use batteries, like this Battery-free Wind-up Fm Radio Flashlight; since the storm is getting so close, it might be too late to get from Amazon now, but something like that might be useful for in the future. If you have a radio and flashlight that uses batteries, make sure they are in working condition. You don’t want the storm to be upon you and then find out that your emergency flashlight and radio aren’t working. As an added note, you might want to store your products in a Faraday Cage; this particular storm doesn’t bring the threat of EMP, but for long-term storage, you might want to think about it. I have instructions for making a Faraday cage at my article for Preparing for an EMP Event. I keep a wind-up radio/flashlight in an old microwave that works as a Faraday cage. It doesn’t work, but I cut off the plug just in case.
- In addition to the normal preparations that you’ll need to make for a snowstorm, this upcoming Frankenstorm also has some of the characteristics of a hurricane, so you’ll want to prepare for strong winds. Depending on where you live, your preparations might be different; keep an eye on your local news to see what they suggest in your area. At the very least, you’ll probably want to store any toys or bikes that you might keep in your yard; you don’t want them blowing around. You might need to board up some windows. You might need to secure some plants if you have some that could be fragile in a storm like this. Get together with your family and brainstorm all of the possibilities.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, then you’ll want to make preparations for potential flooding. Sometimes, the weather can surprise you. I don’t live in an area that’s prone to flooding, but during the summer, we actually had water seeping in from under our door during a storm. We shoved some dirty towels next to the door to soak up the water. Depending on where you live, that might not be enough.
- Cash is always a good idea to have to prepare for an emergency. The ATMs might be out, and so might the credit card machines.
The more prepared you are, the better you will feel if something happens. Earlier this year, our power went out for a short time, and we actually had internet! My computer was charged up with batteries, and my husband’s cell phone was able to broadcast internet to our house. It was almost like we didn’t even lose power. In a bad storm, that’s probably not going to be possible, but if you have what you need to stay warm, fed, and dry (and perhaps entertained), then the storm won’t seem as bad. When you’re not prepared, then it can get really bad.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected, so after you survive the Frankenstorm (or even if you live outside of the affected area), then it’s a good idea to use these tips to stay prepared for your next emergency.