Called a “monster storm,” Hurricane Sandy is much more than a hurricane. It’s a hybrid monster storm system that weather experts are now warning could cause $1 billion in damage when it strikes the U.S. eastern seaboard early Tuesday morning.
If you’re living anywhere near Philadelphia, Boston, Delaware or surrounding states, you have a very limited window of opportunity to get ready with everything you’ll need to ride out this storm. That’s the purpose of this article: To give you an emergency preparedness checklist for surviving this “monster storm.”
Even if you don’t leave nearby, this storm can serve as an important reminder: We must ALL be prepared for unexpected events, or we can easily be caught empty-handed.
A long-lasting event: 2-3 days of being hammered by Mother Nature
Hurricane Sandy is not some simple hurricane that blows through in one night and then is over. “It’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impact for a lot of people,” said James Franklin of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “Wind damage, widespread power outages, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and somebody is going to get a significant surge event.”
Given that it usually takes another 2-3 days for cleaning up city streets after a massive snowfall event, this means the following:
!! You need to have a 6-day food and water supply ready right now! !!
That’s 3 days for the storm and 3 days for cleanup. And that’s if nothing else goes terribly wrong. In a worst case scenario, this could extend to 7 – 10 days in some of the harder-hit areas.
Local grocery stores are already sold out of essential items
Anthony Gucciardi of NaturalSociety.com lives in the area expected to be hit by this super storm. Here’s his firsthand report from earlier today:
Major grocery stores in the area have completely sold out of essential items like batteries, bottled water, and even highly processed snack foods that do not require preparation or refrigeration. I personally went to purchase a few minor items for my preparedness kit from a local grocery outlet that is quite large and witnessed completely empty shelves within the aisle that generally contains large amounts of water bottles along with gallon jugs, and various glass sparkling water bottles. The aisle that houses the batteries (particularly the heavy duty kind used for most flashlights) was also almost entirely dry. When shopping I also saw several individuals with the government-approved ‘survival’checklist, striking off the items one by one as they acquired them.
Last year’s hurricane Irene prompted somewhat of a response from locals within the Philadelphia and New York City area in regards to preparation and concern, but this hurricane has generated one that is far more severe. It is conservative to say that by the end of this weekend going into the storm (assuming it does hit as predicted), most if not all local stores will be out of most essential and even non-essential items. And this is just a few days after the news of the storm hit the mainstream media.
See my complete preparedness checklist, below…
Another huge concern with all this is the possibility that the power may be out. As temperatures drop, this could put many people in the position of having to endure very cold indoor temperatures. This lacking of heating could endure for many days, even as long as two weeks in some areas.
The best defense against the cold is, of course, to have good shelter (a roof over your head), warm clothing and extra sleeping bags for all family members.
Do NOT plan on using propane heaters indoors as these are a health hazard and a fire hazard when used indoors. Same story with candles.
Water: Do you have enough?
Imagine a week without tap water. Now you’re starting to get the picture of what may be coming.
If this storm hits as promised, you’re going to be living in third-world conditions for about a week. Most Americans have never lived in a third-world country like I have, so they’ve never really tried to live without running water, electricity, grocery stores, and so on. (It’s no fun, believe me. Nothing like a cold sponge shower to wake you up in the morning, eh?)
You’ll need a MINIMUM of 2 gallons per day, per person, stored in your home or apartment. So if there are two of you living there, and you’re planning for six days without running water, you will need 24 gallons of water stored, got it?
How can you store that much water?
• Fill your bathtub(s) with water.
• Fill empty containers with water and set them aside: Milk jugs, soda bottles, jars, buckets, coolers, etc.
• Buy water storage bags and fill them
Make sure you have a home water filter that doesn’t need water pressure to operate: A gravity filter or hand-pumped filter is best. I like the Katadyn brand for portable water filters.
Is your immune system ready?
If you think about the stresses put on you by a disaster scenario, many of them impact your health:
• Sleep deprivation
• Adrenal gland depletion
• Stress-induced nutrient depletion
• Stress from cold temperatures
• Possible spread of infectious disease
All of these can be prevented, in part, with immune-boosting nutrition. So this is a time when you really want to boost your intake of superfoods, immune-boosting herbs and nutritional supplements. You want to make sure your body is ready for the stresses and uncertainties it will soon be experiencing.
Remember: Good nutrition will also help you think better, because food affects your brain function. The cleaner your diet, the clearer your thoughts, and the better decisions you’ll make in a crisis.
Staying physically safe
Do you have a fire extinguisher? Fire trucks won’t be able to get to your house during a storm, and indoor fires can rage out of control for hours or days before help arrives. So make sure you have at least one fully-charged fire extinguisher at the ready.
What about physical safety? Do you have a way to defend yourself and your family in case looters start going door to door, demanding money, jewelry and anything else they want? Remember, if the power grid goes down, all the street lights will be off, too, plunging your city and neighborhood into darkness. Criminals love darkness. In their minds, that’s time to “loot and pillage.”
Massachusetts is very much an anti-gun state, meaning only the citizens are disarmed, but not the criminals. When the police are too busy responding to other emergencies, the green light is on for armed criminals to go door to door, robbing (disarmed) citizens at gunpoint. This doesn’t fly in Texas, where the average looter is met with a 12 gauge shotgun shoved in his face, but in Boston, it’s a free-for-all for the criminals.
Even if you don’t own a gun (or can’t legally own one), you can still have bear pepper spray — a large-sized canister of pressurized pepper spray which will strongly dissuade bad guys from hanging around and bothering you. (Check your local laws, please.)
Forget about calling 911. Virtually all emergency services will be tied up dealing with other emergencies. Just because YOU have an emergency doesn’t mean it’s THEIR emergency. By law, fire, police and ambulance services are under no legal obligation whatsoever to respond to your call. Think about that as you plan for preparedness.
For me personally, I don’t call 911 and wait to die. Instead, I call on Mr. Benelli. If you don’t know what “Mr. Benelli” means, here’s a picture that explains why Mr. Benelli instantly stops all looters:
Hurricane Sandy “monster storm” survival checklist by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
I’ve taught preparedness to tens of thousands of people, so I know this subject very well. Here’s my preparedness checklist, and then below it, I link to some of my preparedness courses and solutions if you’re interested in those:
• Minimum 6 days of stored food.
• A way to safely boil water so you can prepare food.
• Non-electric can openers.
• Minimum 6 days of stored water.
• Portable water filter.
• Full fuel tanks in all your vehicles.
• Gasoline and cords for your generator (if you have one).
• Sleeping bags for all family members.
• Flashlights and batteries.
• Minimum 6-day supply of any prescription meds.
• Colloidal silver and other emergency medicine items.
• Cell phones full charged, with spare batteries.
• Minimum one large fully-charged fire extinguisher.
• Plenty of clean laundry with warm socks, undies and heavy clothing.
• Backup power source: large 12V marine (deep cycle) battery with an inverter to charge cell phones and laptops.
• Sponges for cleaning things when there’s no power.
• Cleaning agents: Hand soap, dish soap and bleach.
• Immune boosting herbal tinctures and supplements.
• Topical first aid supplies: Antiseptics, bandages, etc.
• Personal hygiene items, including toilet paper.
• Emergency multi-purpose knife.
• Activities to pass the time when there’s no TV: books, cards, games, etc.
• Copies of your important paperwork and identification documents.
• Two-way radios for you and your family members to communicate.
• Wind-up weather radio so you can tune in to government broadcasts.
• CB broadcasting radio so you can call for help if the cell towers are down.
• Nuclear preparedness: Do you have potassium iodide pills?
• Hiding stuff: Do you have good hiding places in your home in case criminals break in and overpower you?
• Pet preparedness: Do you have enough food and water for your animals?
• Go bag: Do you have a “bug out bag” ready in case you have to evacuate?
• Hiking gear: What happens if you have to leave on foot?
– Cold weather hiking shoes
– Rugged backpack
– A good hat to protect you from the elements
– Local map and compass
– Water carrying containers (and a way to carry them)
– Portable food
– Weather-proof writing notepad
– Portable self defense items
• Security plans for your neighborhood or building: How will you defend against looters?
• Physical barriers to block doors and windows: Are your windows locked?
• Tripwire alert devices and motion alert devices (see course, below).
• Self defense items to defend against possible looters:
– If firearms, double check your ammo, firearm lubrication and sights.
– Have a challenge / response code word with your family members so that you can identify each other in the dark. For example, if you say “Flash” they should say “Thunder” in response.
– Drill all safety procedures in the home. Children should know in advance where a “safe hiding place” is located.
– Emergency whistles for all children or senior citizens so they can call for help.
Does this sound like a long preparedness list? It’s nothing, actually, compared to what many preppers, patriots and survivalists have already accomplished. I’m not afraid to say publicly that my own personal preparedness plans have gone far beyond the list you see above. If a three-day hurricane struck my home right now, I would be completely prepared without even making a trip to the store for supplies.