Way back in 2003, Steve and I were caught off-guard by the East Coast blackout. In 1999 we were caught-off guard by the Great Toronto blizzard. Before that it was the Eastern Ontario/Quebec icestorm. The list goes on. We're going to do our best not to be caught unprepared again.
According to Environment Canada, Hurricane Sandy is expected to impact the eastern coast of the United States and parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes over the next few days. The storm covers a wide area and the impacts of heavy rainfall, high winds and possibly snow may be experienced well away from the centre of the storm.
"The Canadian Red Cross encourages all Canadians to take some steps to ensure their safety. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours in an emergency," said Mike Morton, Canadian Red Cross director of disaster management in Ontario. "By taking some time now to store emergency food, water and other supplies, you can provide for your entire family during a power outage or evacuation."
The Red Cross recommends families have AT LEAST the following items ready in sturdy,easy-to-carry containers such as suitcases on wheels or backpacks in the event of a power outage or an evacuation:
- Water: Store two litres of drinking water and two litres of water for washing per person, per day, keeping a 72-hour supply on hand for your family and any pets.
- Food: Store at least a 72-hour supply of non-perishable food for each person. Ensure that there is enough for each member of your family.
- Extra clothes
- Extra blankets
- Manual can opener
- Crank or battery-operated flashlight, with extra batteries
- Crank or battery-operated radio, with extra batteries
- Extra keys, for house and car
- First aid kit : http://www.redcross.ca/main.asp?id=032983
- Cash in small bills
- Special needs items - medications, baby formula and diapers, and equipment for people with disabilities.
The Red Cross also recommends families have a plan in place in case they need to evacuate their homes. For tips on how to make an evacuation plan, visit www.redcross.ca/ready.
Whether you think the reports and warnings about Sandy are overblown hype or not, I encourage you to be prepared and stay safe. This one might be our Hurricane Hazel, or it might not, but if you prepare now and don't need those supplie, you'll be in much better shape for the next storm, or power failure, or house fire, or.... Better safe than sorry, me thinks.
*Thank you to the Red Cross for most of this!