Now’s the Time to Get Ready for Sandy: Must-Have Supplies & To-Do Checklist
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Sandy to a Hurricane today after it made landfall in Jamaica with winds at 80 miles per hour.
Although there is still... uncertainty about the exact track the storm will take after it passes Cuba and the Bahamas over the next couple of days, chances have increased that the storm will make a direct hit somewhere along the east coast several days from now.
One lesson we never seem to learn sufficiently is to be ready for these emergency situations well in advance. If the storm does follow most possible models, we will at least see some very bad, wet weather by early next week, and possibly something much worse. If you wait until the weekend to get supplies together, you may find stores are sold out of many of the items you need.
Why not get an early start on being prepared this time? Here is a list from the Red Cross of supplies to have on hand before a storm and tips on what to do when the storm is approaching. Remember that Lite Rock 96.9 WFPG Meteorologist Alan Kasper and the Townsquare News Network will bring you updated information 24/7 if and when it's needed!
Here is a list of supplies:
-- A three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day.
-- Three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.
-- A can opener.
-- A battery-powered radio, preferably a weather radio.
-- Extra batteries.
-- A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.
-- A small fire extinguisher.
-- Whistles for each person.
-- A seven-day supply of medications.
-- A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.
-- Cell phones and chargers.
-- Contact information for the family.
-- A sleeping bag for each person.
-- Extra cash.
-- A silver foil emergency blanket.
-- A map of the area.
-- Baby supplies.
-- Pet supplies.
-- Wet wipes.
-- A camera (to document storm damage).
-- Insect repellent.
-- Rain gear.
-- Tools and supplies for securing your home.
-- Plastic sheeting.
-- Duct tape.
-- Dust masks.
-- An extra set of house keys.
-- An extra set of car keys.
-- An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor.
-- Household bleach.
-- Paper cups, plates and paper towels.
-- Activities for children.
-- Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.
Here are recommendations on what to do before a storm approaches:
-- Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are, and if you need help or are safe. The Red Cross has a Hurricane App and a first aid App are available .
-- Bring outside items in if they could be picked up by the wind.
-- Clear gutters of debris.
-- Reinforce the garage door.
-- Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
-- Fill a bathtub with water.
-- Get full tank of gas in one car.
-- Go over the evacuation plan with the family, and learn alternate routes to safety.
-- Learn the location of the nearest shelter or nearest pet-friendly shelter.
-- Put an ax in your attic in case of severe flooding.
-- Evacuate if ordered and stick to marked evacuation routes, if possible.
-- Store important documents -- passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds -- in a watertight container.
-- Have a current inventory of household property.
-- Leave a note to say where you are going.
-- Unplug small appliances and electronics before you leave.
-- If possible, turn off the electricity, gas and water for residence.
American Red Cross tips on what to do after the storm arrives:
-- Continue listening to Lite Rock 96.9 WFPG for the latest updates.
-- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
-- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
-- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
-- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
-- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
-- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
-- Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
-- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it's not contaminated.
-- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
-- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
-- Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
-- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
Sources: American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Hurricane Center