Hurricane Sandy is barreling up the northeastern corridor of the United States building up to daytime gusts which well over 50 MPH by this Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Residents are being advised to prepare with sufficient water, food, clothing and a myriad of basic supplies listed below.
Some homeowners are beginning to board up windows and secure the external part of the home to prevent or lessen the likelihood of flying objects during the storm. Businesses of all sizes can begin setting into motion their contingency and disaster recovery plans. This article will explain some of the safety precautions everyone can take together with guidance from NOAA and FEMA.
The storm is expected to slam into an arctic cold front bringing up to a 10 foot storm surge. After Sunday, there will be no time to prepare for the hurricane. “We’re looking at an impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,” said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) advises to store up to a three day supply of non-perishable food. Foods like salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with a high liquid content should be chosen. Even baby food may be considered.
FEMA advises to store enough water. Sufficient water is one gallon of water per person per day. Keep at least a three day supply of water for each person.
FEMA advises to maintain adequate supplies. The supply kit should include a battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, a dust mask to help filter contaminated air, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, a manual can opener for food, local maps and a cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger. The cell phone, as well as netbook computers should be charged fully before the storm hits. For general website or tools support, contact a Technical Support Specialist by calling 1-877-FEMA-MAP. FEMA has disaster survivor assistance and special grants explained on its website.
Once the basic supply kit is assembled, there are other things to consider securing. Examples of these things are prescription medications and glasses, infant formula and diapers, pet food and extra water for your pet, cash or traveler’s checks and change and important family documents; such as, copies of insurance policies, first aid kit and book, a fire extinguisher, a sleeping bag and blanket for each person, a complete change of clothing for each person, household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils.
Once the storm begins to phase in on Sunday, October 28, 2012, residents should listen to local news for further instruction on how the state, county and municipal officials advise to deal with the storm. i.e. school closings, transit restrictions, local shelters, designated emergency sites and evacuation routes for areas near major water bodies and dams.