By Megan Vick
By now, most of the East Coast is battening down the hatches
for the slow, sprawling storm, Sandy. While many people know to have plenty of
batteries, food, and water, there are a few more things to know.
1. If you’re hunkering down for a storm, make sure you know
your nearest shelter. Your town or county should have this information
available on its website. You can also check out the Red Cross for shelters in
2. Keep your gas tank at least half-full and be sure to have
cash on hand. If the power goes out, gas pumps and ATMs won’t work.
3. Keep your pets and livestock safe! Animals are like
family so it’s important to keep them protected too. The US
Humane Society has constantly updated information on how to prepare for
emergencies with your pet, and what to do should you find yourself in one.
4. If you’ve got a generator, you already know how handy
they can be when the power goes out. Remember, when generators run, they emit
carbon monoxide gas. Don’t keep your generator in your home or in your garage.
Be sure it’s at least 20 feet away from your home’s doors and windows. Also, be
sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors (with a battery backup) near
sleeping areas in your home.
5. If you lose power, watch your refrigerator and freezer.
Perishables in the fridge should be thrown out after 4 hours without power.
Food in the freezer can stay there for up to 48 hours, as long as the freezer
door remains closed. A good motto: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
6. Any time there is a major storm, be prepared for boilwater advisories. With flooding and storm surge, the potential for a water
main break increases. It’s important to have safe drinking water available in
air tight containers if the power goes out (and you’re on a well) and/or if
there is a boil water advisory issued.
just won’t get the nasties out in the event of a water quality advisory.
you be faced with a water quality advisory, be sure to either boil your water
or drink from the reserves you already have. Once the advisory is lifted, be
- Toss all ice cubes, disinfect the tray and
- Drain and refill the hot water heaters set below
- Run cold water faucets for one to two minutes
before using the water
- Replace ALL water filters (faucet, fridge, under
sink, shower) that were installed when the advisory was issued
We want everyone to be safe before, during, and after
storms! Take care of yourself, loved ones, and animals.