Last year it was the Halloween Nor’easter that crippled parts of New England. This year it is a potentially more devastating storm that many have termed ‘Frankenstorm’. The official name of the storm is Sandy but many weather forcasters have been calling it Frankenstorm because of it’s potential for wrecking havoc. If you are in Frankenstorms path and haven’t already done so, you need to get ready for this monster. This storm isn’t fooling around and has already killed dozens of people. Here are 7 things you can do to get prepared right now.
Make a Preparedness Kit
The time to prepare a disaster kit isn’t when disaster comes knocking but there are still things you can do before the storm hits. FEMA recommends that you to have a 72 hour kit. Here are some things you can put in your kit. If you want, you can buy a pre-made 72 hour kitif you don’t have the time to put one together.
- 3-days supply of drinking water. You will need at least 1 gallon per person a day.
- Non-perishable food. Again a 3-days supply for your entire family.
- Pet food if you have pets.
- Fire starters. Have several different kinds such as water-proof matches, lighters, and fire steels.
- A battery operated, solar, or hand-crank emergency radio. It is important to stay informed during a crisis.
- Survival whistles. One for each family member, especially the elderly and children. Survival whistles are great for letting rescuers know that someone is trapped or otherwise incapacitated.
- First aid kit. Make sure that it has plenty of items that are useful for traumatic injuries.
- Medications. Make sure that any medicine members of your household take can be accessed easily.
- Flashlights. Check them and make sure there are spare batteries.
- Maps of the area.
- A compass will be indispensable if you have to travel cross country.
- Tarps. These are great for patching roofs or making a shelter when your home is destroyed.
- Personal hygiene stuff.
- Trash bags. You need a way to contain and get rid of any human waste.
- A manual can opener. Few things are more frustrating than being hungry with cans of food and no way to open them.
- Warm clothing and sturdy shoes or boots.
- Cell phone and chargers. Some emergency radios can also charge your phone and other devices.
- A sturdy survival knife, axe, or machete.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off the gas and water.
- A multi-tool.
- Backpacks in case you are forced to become mobile on foot.
- Cash. If there is an area-wide power outage you won’t be able to use your debit/credit cards.
- Playing cards or some similar type of entertainment. This is especially important if you have children.
Buy a Generator
Generators aren’t absolutely necessary unless you have someone in your household on life-support. Even so, they become very valued to everyone experiencing a prolonged electrical outage. Make sure to have plenty of fuel.
Trim Your Trees
High winds routinely knock down trees and limbs…often onto homes and vehicles. If you have any dead limbs or trees they are especially vulnerable to the wind.
Check Your Insurance
Make sure your insurance is up to date. If you are worried about flooding, double check to make sure your flood insurance is in place.
Make a list of all your valuables. Make a digital recording with your camera or cell phone and back up the images either online or on something like a flash-drive.
Secure all Outside Items
Your patio furniture, cars, and anything else that can be blown away or smashed needs to go into your garage.
Check and Clean your Gutters
Clogged gutters can increase the amount of damage that your home incurs. Clean out all of the leaves and use a hose to make sure the downspouts are flowing properly.
Getting and staying prepared for natural disasters isn’t that difficult. Just a little planning and diligence vastly improves your ability to weather the storm, even when it is Frankenstorm. Don’t delay, time is running out.