By Cathy Thurber
I had a friend named Sandy when I was growing up. She was short and sweet, always ready for something fun to do. Now, it seems, the next time I think about Sandy the only image that will come to mind is Hurricane Sandy and the damage she has caused. Hurricane Sandy is definitely not short, nowhere near sweet, and is ready to bring destruction instead of fun. Personally, I don’t like this Sandy. Not at all.
This hurricane is a monster. The sheer size from the images is just astounding, and how far her damage will reach is incredible. This was definitely something that was communicated to the masses early. Evacuation orders were sent out and I’m still astounded at the number of people that didn’t leave the low-lying areas. However, there will always be those that want to ride out the storms. For those of us that aren’t used to huge storms like this, there are certain things you want to remember when you’re going to make it through a disaster. We can even use tips like these in Ohio for when our big storms roll through.
1. Fill up your bathtub with water. At first I thought this was just for people to have something to drink. Actually, the real reason is so you can flush your toilets if your water’s not working. I can’t imagine how gross a bathroom could become if that happened. This is definitely a must.
2. Flashlights and batteries. I’m pretty sure everybody realizes the importance of this. Candles will definitely work, too, but there is more of a fire hazard.
3. Be careful with your food. Perishable food (from the fridge) will only last so long – probably about four hours. Keep your freezer door shut! If you keep opening it the cold air escapes and your food will spoil a lot faster.
4. Use your generator carefully. First of all, hopefully you have a generator for backup. But, you have to be careful – don’t use the generator inside your home, even if the windows and doors are open. Those things emit carbon monoxide and could potentially put your life in danger. Make sure you keep it outside your residence, about 20-30 feet away from any doors or windows.
5. Have some contractor garbage bags ready to go. More than likely, you’re going to have a lot of debris to pick up. And hey – you’re probably going to need help cleaning up that stuff. Keep some beer on hand to entice those willing individuals.
6. Help others. Be one of those people that helps clean up the debris. Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly or anyone that has special needs. Make sure they have shelter, food and water. And don’t forget the pets! Make sure those animals are safe and secure, too.