Sunday, October 28, 2012

Do Not Delay

If you are in the path of the converging storms on the east coast of the U.S., decide what you're doing and do it quickly if you haven't already.  If you can pack a bag and head west, it may be a good idea. If you can't, then assess your situation and make a plan if you don't already have one.

 Are you on low ground, subject to flooding? If so, you may want to call a friend on higher ground to see if you can stay there until the storm passes.

Do you have some cash and food? If not, try to get to an ATM for cash and get some food that can be eaten without cooking, like my old standard Chef Boyardee. If you have canned food, be sure to include a can opener! If the power goes out for a while, you may not be able to get cash, so do it now if you're low.

In some areas, water distribution requires electricity.  Back up generators could fail if flooding or freezing are wide spread. Be sure you have a few days of water stored for this one, in clean bottles (like 2-liter soda bottles) if possible.

If the power goes out and the cold front lingers, can you stay warm? Line up your fleeces and blankets.  If you are low on these, get to Goodwill or the Salvation Army store and get a few. They don't need to be pretty, just warm. Don't forget warm socks. How about a tarp? If you roof goes in the strong winds, it may be nice to have a spot you can 'camp' in your home until you find a place to stay that has a roof.

It may seem silly, but do your laundry if you have a big pile. Clean clothes are warmer than dirty ones.  If your power goes out, it may be a while before it comes back on so clean clothes may be in short supply. This may be a good job for kids who are out of school awaiting the storm. You start the loads, they can babysit them and transfer to the dryer while you are doing other things.

Once the storm hits, don't underestimate its potential to kill. Sandy has already proven its ability to kill, and that was without the arctic front component. Be extra cautious. Don't just head out to work. Have a plan to be able to know whether your place of business will be open, especially if you have along commute. Pick a website where info can be posted if possible. Convince your employer to have a voicemail box where the 'greeting' can be changed and employees can call in for the thumbs-up or down.  Commuting a long way into worse disaster conditions, only to find yourself stuck and your business locked could be the start of an ugly day.

Above all, take this last 12 to 24 hours to plan who's going where, what you need and how to get it, and what your trigger points are to leave your chosen location. If there are millions of people in distress asking for emergency services, you may not be near the top of the list.  Be your own best rescuer by smart planning and action NOW.

No comments:

Post a Comment