We’re interested in hearing from our east coast readers about how they rode out Hurricane Sandy. How did the storm impact you? How did your preparations work out? Is there anything you would do differently next time?
Hurricane Sandy was a reminder to us to take a look at our preparedness. We may not have monster storms here in Los Angeles, but we certainly are overdue for a big earthquake. It’s been a long time since we’ve taken a look at our supplies and emergency equipment. I’m considering a drill–living without power/gas/water for a few days to see what we can improve.
Update. On the Root Simple Facebook page reader Josh Barton left the following account:
I’m in the St.George area of Staten Island, about a 7 minute walk to the water. I live at the top of a hill, so I wasn’t worried about flooding, but I think I should buy a raft just in case it doors ever flood in the lower parts (Esp if I move somewhere else. So it’d be good to research what areas were flooded during Irene and Sandy).
During the storm I had my phone and tablet attached to chargers until the peer went out for me at 9pm.
Because my windows face north, and the wind was blowing north, my windows were on good shape, thankfully. In the future, this is something I will always have to look in to. Before the storm I looked up how fat wind needs to travel to break windows and then I constantly checked the wind speed via the weather on my phone.
After the power went out, I hooked my phone up to a battery backup (ZaggSparq 2.0) and then went to bed shortly afterwards.
My first mistake was leaving the phone on overnight. I should have turned it off to conserve power. It used up more power than I was expecting, so I had about 2 full charges left after that.
I own a bike, thankfully, so my first priority was to go to the ferry terminal so I could either charge up there our go in to the city and find a Starbucks our Barnes & Noble to plug in to. I wasn’t expecting to see the ferry terminal closed with no ETA on when it would open! That meant I was stranded inn Staten Island since I don’t have a car and buses weren’t running. That was a major blow for me.
The next day I decided to check out this deli I always pass on my way hone because I knew they had free wifi and I saw they had a cafe level (I’ve never been in there before). Thankfully, they were open, had power, and wifi!
From this I learned a few more things:
1) don’t assume power will be restored anytime soon. I should have bought an emergency radio/flashlight with a hand crank generator that a phone can be plugged in to. Until I find that deli, I was concerned I would lose touch with my mother and a few close friends (I know no one on this island and very few in NYC).
2) Make note of places that have outlets. Since I was able to get on Facebook, I was able to see what others were doing for power (public libraries, and a few people grouped around a chase ATM with an outlet)
3) when going to somewhere that has an outlet, bring a power strip! Do not fall upon the mercy of waiting or being restricted to how many outlets you can use (I wanted to charge my phone, tablet, phone backup charger, and batteries).
4) either prepare emergency food ahead of time or keep an emergency food supply. Based on how Tonga have been in NYC, I’d say a week’s worth of food is good.
5) something I’ve wanted for a while, but never had the funds for (or forgot about) is a solar powered generator. That sure would have made my life a lot easier this week!
6) have an evacuation plan. I have no idea how to get out of Staten Island by bus. I always take the ferry because it’s close and convenient.
7) what happened in Breezy Point, Queens (a 6 alarm fire that destroyed a block of houses) could happen anywhere. Make sure that the stuff that’s priceless too you us kept safe. Very safe. I’m lucky compared to some people!
Before moving to NYC, survival was a concern for me. It’s not as easy as when you’re in a house and you have more room and you can install solar panels or keep a large generator on hand. Despite this concern, I think I failed by 50%. The two big things I did right though was I have a Berkey gravity filter, so in the event there was no water, I could have easily gotten untreated water from a stream (you could also get water from a fire hydrant. A few days before the storm I saw someone filing up buckets of water from a hydrant for unknown reasons), I had an alternative means of transportation so if need be, I cold have traveled a large distance, and I was good on food.
In the future, I hope to be better prepared. I got off easy and was able to learn from this.
I typed all this out on my phone, so hopefully predictive text didn’t mangle any words