by DJ Cracovia
One year ago today the world was turned upside down for thousands in the Lower Hudson Valley when Super Storm Sandy knocked out power for over a week damaging homes and businesses. Some are still reeling trying from the disaster trying to put their lives back together. With climate experts predicting more storms like this in the future, we need to ask ourselves two important questions: What did we learn from Sandy? And will we be better prepared next time?
“Because of the June 11, 2012 storm, Nyack had already formed an Emergency Committee which implemented policies and procedures that helped during Sandy,” says Nyack Mayor Jen White. Since Sandy, the village has purchased several generators that will be used to keep Public Works, Emergency Services and Village Hall operational after future disasters.
Although hurricanes have been few and far between in the Northeast, anyone that lives in Hurricane Alley in Florida can teach us a thing or two about how to get ready for big storms like Sandy. Here are a few suggestions from the our neighbors to the south about how to handle hurricanes:
- A week before a predicted storm, make sure you have enough supplies ready for at one to two weeks. That includes food, water and alternate forms of light, like flashlights or oil lamps. Make sure you have enough of your essential medications on hand. Also if you are lucky enough to have a generator, make sure it works and the gas tank is full. Don’t forget to test your generator every few months throughout the year to make sure it works when you need it.
- Four days before, make sure flashlights are in good working order and replace any weak batteries you have on hand with a fresh supply. Also, start freezing water bottles. They will keep your refrigerator cool if you lose power.
- Two days before, fill up your car. If you have any other items that run on gas at home, make sure to get extra fuel. You don’t want to be stuck in a gas line for hours after disaster strikes. Also, make sure you have enough cash on hand for incidentals. When the power grid fails it takes your neighborhood ATM offline too.
- The night before, fill your bath tub with water. This will allow you to wash various items. Charge all of your electronics, cell phones especially. Make sure there is nothing outside that can blow away or crash into anything. If high winds are expected, board up your windows. Do your laundry. Take a shower — it might be the last time you have abundant hot water for a while.
- During the storm, sit tight and stay calm. In the last storm, I know of several families who turned it into a family game day.
- If officials in your area ask you to evacuate, don’t think twice — leave at once. Prepare a suitcase before hand with your essential travel items for so you can get out as soon possible.