Do you live on the east coast of the United States? If so, you should be preparing for the effects of the Frankenstorm- a storm combining three separate storm systems. This storm may take out power, produce flooding in low areas and cause extensive wind damage, possibly as far inland as Ohio. While the states on the coast are already declaring a state of emergency, are you ready if the storm affects your area? The following are some important steps to take if you live in the storm's path:
- Determine who your point of contact will be, preferably someone who is farther inland and won't be affected by the storm. Let other friends and family members know who this contact is before the storm hits. A cell phone will only remain charged for a few days, and you'll need to conserve its charge if there is a power outage.
- Get some cash from your bank or ATM as soon as possible. A lengthy power outage can make it difficult to obtain groceries or other goods and services when credit card machines are inoperable.
- Take copies of important papers, such as insurance policies and bank accounts, with you in the event of an evacuation.
- Make sure you have enough prescription medications to last for at least a week, and call in requests for refills as soon as possible.
- Buy enough food and water to sustain yourself, family members AND pets. Many shelters will not take animals when it is in the path of a storm. If you have to evacuate, make sure you have pet carriers, cages and leash/collars for all of your animals, food, as well as bowls for their food and water.
- Do not wait until a mandatory evacuation order is issued. It is best to leave ahead of the storm to ensure your own safety and that of your family and pets. Waiting until the roads are already flooded or blocked by downed trees can prohibit you from leaving at all, and put rescue worker lives at risk.
- If necessary, make hotel reservations ahead of your departure. Hotels in the region will fill quickly if there is a mandatory evacuation.
- Check with elderly and disabled individuals in your neighborhood to make sure they are prepared for the coming storm.
Get more advice on preparing for a disaster, and preparing a disaster kit, from the following sources: