The New York City Tri-State area is no longer as immune to Mother Nature’s wrath as it once was.  As a New Yorker, when I hear of a hurricane coming our way, I mostly think of a very inconvenient rain storm. Many others do too and didn’t take the warnings about Hurricane Sandy seriously enough and were caught off guard.  Many even chose not to evacuate when warned to do so.

As our region works hard to get back on its feet, we at Casalatina.com, pray that you and your families are safe. Our hearts go out to the communities that have been hit the hardest. We share the anguish of those who are still waiting for power to be restored, and for businesses and schools that are still not able to re-open. We hope their lives will quickly return to normal, even though we know that for some, nothing will ever be normal again.

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in Time magazine, “We have a 100-year flood every two years now, we need to make sure that if there is weather like this, we are more prepared and protected than we have been before.” With that said, what follows are a few suggestions that may better prepared us for next time.

At the minimum, consider obtaining the following:

  • Three weeks supply of food, some of which doesn’t require cooking.
  • Water, as much as can be conveniently stored and a way of filtering additional water.
  • An alternative way of cooking when power is unavailable.
  • Emergency supplies, pre-stored, with extra clothing, a flash drive containing important documents and photos, and a first-aid kit with essential medications.
  • Flash Lights with working batteries
  • A generator, which are available in different electrical and physical configurations for use in different applications
  • Fill up your car gas tank before the storm hits
  • Buy a 5 gallon fuel spill-proof Red Gas Container, buy now not during the storm
  • A radio, powered by either solar, battery or crank
  • Evacuate, when told to evacuate do so, a home can be eventually replaced your family can not

We can no longer ignore what has become our reality. We need to be practical as well as responsible and prepare now to make sure to survive theses unexpected disasters.

Loa Kirk Andersen is an emergency preparation specialist, CERT instructor, and ardent advocate of planning for disasters. She has excellent information and can be reached at loapualani@comcast.net or at her website: www.emergencypreplady.com.

Marlene Pratt is the co-founder of Casa Latina, an interior designer and on-air television host on both English and Spanish-language television. Follow Marlene on Twitter at @CasaLatinaToday and Like her FB page

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