19 Storm Preparation Tips From An Expert

Prepardness expert Kathy Harrison shares 19 storm prep tips to help you cope with Hurricane Sandy.

With Hurricane Sandy barreling towards us, I’m getting a lot of calls and emails about preparing for an extreme weather event. First, stay calm, and prioritize. Review the list below and delegate age-appropriate tasks to the family.

  • Clean up your yard. Toys and flower pots can become missiles in heavy winds.
  • Fill your car with gas and park it, facing out, as far from trees as possible.
  • Have some cash on hand. If the power goes out you won’t be able to access your ATM.
  • Make sure you have fuel for your chainsaw.
  • Top off essential medications.
  • Remember pets. Have enough pet food and think through how you’ll handle the “necessary functions”.
  • Clean your house. It will be far safer to navigate in low light if the floors are clear.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. Dispose of any leftovers. If the power is out you will want to deal with as little wasted food as possible.
  • Catch up on all tasks like laundry while the power is still up.
  • Plan a week’s worth of simple menus you can make with the food you have on hand and the fuel source you’ll be relying on.
  • Check out batteries and flashlights to be sure all are still strong.
  • Clean the chimneys on all lanterns and candle sticks. A clean chimney will produce a lot more light. Set matches close by (away from small hands please!). Trim wicks and refill reservoirs with lamp oil.
  • Fill your freezer with jugs of water. A full freezer will hold temperature for longer than a partially filled one will.
  • Bring a cooler up to the kitchen. If a power loss looks imminent, place necessary things like milk in the cooler. Then you can keep the refrigerator closed. You might want to seal it with some duct tape to remind people not to open it. I’ll be filling my refrigerator with sealed containers of ice to keep it as cold as possible.
  • Remember to fill jugs with water. You will also need water to flush with.
  • Get out some non-electric fun like board games and puzzles.
  • Place a flashlight next to each bed. If the power goes off in the night, it will calm children to have a light source. I have a box of glow sticks. They are a safe source of light for even small children.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Preparing early-even making prepartions you don’t need means that you won’t be battling the crowds for the last flashlight on the shelf.
  • Please check on elderly, disabled or single neighbors. They may need physical help or companionship. This is what neighbors are for.

It occurs to me that most of what I suggest is just business as usual around here.  This time we have some time to prepare. Next time we might not be so lucky. Every time I make a purchase I always look for the non-electric version of any appliance. Electricity is a lovely and convenient thing but we can manage without it. To live a life that keeps me from dependency is my goal as is preparing in such a way as to have the ability to care for my neighbors.

Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.

4 thoughts on “19 Storm Preparation Tips From An Expert

  1. Pingback: Hurricane Sandy: 19 Storm Preparation Tips From An Expert

  2. Love all your tips one I have done is up the temp in the ice boxs or make it older. Rmember the food you have in side may freeze up some put it to the middle. Praying for all the people in the up north.