Saturday, November 3, 2012

Would you have been ready?

I post occasionally about emergency preparedness here, and this seems a good time to do it again.  

I love this blog, and her emergency-prep post is a particularly good commentary on things people didn't have - or overlooked - during the Sandy disaster:

Personally, I had a couple of long conversations with a friend whose son lives on the Lower (East?) Side of Manhattan, and just had power restored after several days without.  They still had water, and a gas stove, so two requirements were met, and they were better off than many. Some of the things they discovered:

  • How dependent most everyone is now on their cell phones for communication.   What do you do once the battery is dead?  Tops on their list, a hand-crank device that will re-charge a cell phone.  There are a lot of them out there, many as part of a ratio/light/recharger combo. 
  • Speaking of a radio - my friend discovered during the last ice storm - that the only radio she has is ........on her cell phone.  Add a battery and/or hand-crank radio to the list.   
  • How about a battery clock?   Do you have one? If you wear a watch it's no problem, or do you rely .......on your cell phone?  (pattern emerging) 
  • Light?  Her son only had some candles in NY.  In an earthquake zone, kerosene lamps may not be a good idea, but there are lots of battery-operated  LED lanterns available.    
  • How about a supply of batteries on hand for these things?  Try to be uniform in the supplies you acquire, and look for things that all take the same sized battery, such as AA.   You can also find hand-crank chargers for re-chargeable batteries.
  • Food - the grocery nearest them stayed open via generator.  He said they made them line up outside, an attendant at the door would take their 'order,' and bring the groceries to them at the door.  What if you don't live within walking distance from a store.  Do you have some basics stored?  Enough to last you several days? 
  • Cash?  All the ATMs were down due to the power outage and after a few days he began to run out of cash to buy what they needed.  The most heartwarming part of the story was that some friends who own restaurants loaned him some cash to tide him over.   Not what I expected in NY, but apparently every neighborhood is like a little town.   If you live in town, how about your neighborhood?   There is no way to know how people will react in an emergency, but are you prepared to share what you have stored with those around you? Or are you expecting them to take care of you?   I had someone say that to me once.  She saw no reason to prepare for herself.  She said "I'll come to your house, since you have everything..."      
The link under the photo above is based on the FEMA preparedness list, which is included in that blog post. The cabinet in the photo looks a little sparse to me, but it's a start.  If you feel you don't have room to store stuff, everyone can do something.   My friend's son plans to, and he lives in what amounts to a studio apartment. 

Think about it......... 


  1. I hope we don't have to live through a huge disaster for my husband to finally appreciate the value of my shopping habits!