Oh Sandy Baby

October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy taken from a NASA satellite at 4pm on October 28th.

Summer lovin’, happened so fast…and now here we are in October preparing for the arrival of Sandy, the largest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. Yikes! Who knows what to believe — I always feel like it’s every weatherman’s wet dream (literally and I guess figuratively) for one of these major weather events to play out. But I guess if they are shutting down mass transit in NYC as well as schools and places of business, they must think something bad is going to happen. I tried to go onto the National Hurricane Preparedness site and click on “If You Live in a High Rise” to see if there’s anything special I should be doing, and the link is broken. No info for you. That sounds about right.

Anyway, it is a good reminder to remain prepared whether the Weather Channel is on your corner or not. Here are a few things no home should be without, in this age of both man-made and natural disasters.

Flashlights: Lately it seems like someone blowing out their birthday candles can make the power go out, which means that every man, woman and child should invest in a good flashlight. I like Mag Lites. They’re small enough to fit in a bedside drawer but give off good light and come in a whole range of colors. (My daughter was excited to get a pink one.) Others will suggest candles but I worry about fires — and the fire department has enough to worry about.

Radio: We are so dependent on electricity, and you don’t really realize it until it’s gone. A battery-powered radio will let you keep in touch with the outside long after your cable company has been forced to go offline.

Batteries: If you don’t have backup, your flashlights and radios will last only so long. Keep all different sizes on hand.

Water: If the power goes out, fresh water may go with it. And these days, it seems it could be several days before everything is restored to normal. Buy a lot, as you may need it for things beyond drinking, like brushing your pearly whites or taking a spongebath. (Ugh.)

Food that doesn’t need to be heated up…or refrigerated: I saw a lot of people buying milk and meat at the market. Which is fine, as long as you plan on using it quickly. But when things go south, you need things like applesauce, breakfast bars, peanut butter and bread to get your family fed until things return to normal. And remember that if the power remains out for more than 10 hours, everything in the fridge and freezer has to go. (Most homeowners insurance does cover the loss of food in a power outage, so make sure to make a claim if you lose it all.)

Take pictures: If you do have to make a claim to insurance, it helps to have pictures to show the adjuster what the house looked like before the damage. Take it of the rooms as well as any valuables. And then keep the photos in a safe place.

Anyway, of course there is more you can do, but that’s a good short list, even for those who think the whole thing is blown out of proportion. Only time will tell on Sandy…

Etc.

I have been a bit absent from the blogosphere lately — it has been a really busy few weeks! I have a list of all of these things that I want to get done inside during the storm — switching over to my winter shoes, doing a new puzzle with my kids, watching all of the 30 Rocks from so far this season among them — so we’ll see how that goes.

We were down closing up our house near the beach this morning and the sky was very ominous. And the wind was quite strong, well ahead of the storm’s arrival. As I look out over the city which is already weirdly quiet for a Sunday at 5:45pm, I can see and hear the wind picking up.

Be safe everyone! Let’s hope it all blows over without too much damage or loss of life.

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