was straightening up the basement the other day and was
looking at the canned food stored on a shelf near the
freezer, intended to get us through the first few days
of a natural disaster.
thoughts turned to hurricane season, which began in June
and is typically worrisome in the mid-Atlantic region
starting in late August on through early November.
have not needed that food since we stored it there just
after Hurricane Irene in August 2011, which struck as a
tropical storm a few hours after we had arrived after an
all-night drive from Maine.
were spared the full force of Irene, much as we were
when Sandy struck the following year, so my task now was
to check the expiration dates on the tuna fish, chili
and soup still on that shelf.
time to look at Ready.gov, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency's website, to try to prepare for
severe storms, even though, as my readers tell me, the
problems created by these natural disasters are never
addressed and are often impossible to prepare for.
anything, you should try to keep yourself, your family
and your pets safe. If the authorities say evacuate in
advance of a storm, then you should go.
will need to develop a plan to communicate with family
members as the storm approaches. If you aren't all in
the same place, you'll need to arrange a meeting spot
before the hurricane hits or, if that isn't possible,
after the danger has passed.
might not work in a storm — cell towers can fall,
heavy use might jam them — so don't try to depend on
too, that ATMs might not be working if the power goes
out, so withdraw beforehand as much money as you will
need for a few days.
pumps also need electricity to operate, so fill up well
in advance of a storm.
of price gouging; not everyone is honest, believe it or
not, and misfortune can sometimes bring out the worst in
otherwise nice people.
are more ways to prepare for a big storm, and Ready.gov
is an easy-to-navigate and ready source of a lot of that