As Hurricane Sandy continues to threaten the east coast, Points of Light’s Director of Disaster Services Kellie Bentz has a few words of advice to those preparing for the storm’s landfall.
Two months ago, Kellie was in the middle of Hurricane Isaac and had to evacuate from her home in New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Luckily, she was prepared with her hurricane kits and used nearly everything.
"Don’t be fooled," she said. "Just because a hurricane is a category 1, there can still be significant impact including power outages for hours or day, flood, or strong winds."
Here are six tips to get Good & Ready for Hurricane Sandy:
1. Before the storm hits, be sure you have a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day and non-perishable goods. Even better, stock enough water and food for three days. Remember, individual needs vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate. For a full list of items click here.
2. Have some cash on hand or in your emergency kit because if the power goes out or phone lines are down, it may be impossible for businesses to take credit cards.
3. Get a battery-powered weather radio (and extra batteries) so you don’t miss any important updates.
4. If possible, save all the contact information in your mobile phone in a virtual cloud. The low tech version—printing or writing down important phone numbers—will also keep you from being out of touch with family and friends.
5. Fill up your car’s gas tank or identify alternative transportation if public transportation is shut down and you need to evacuate.
6. Prepare your home by bringing outdoor furniture inside. You don’t want high winds to turn them into projectiles. Click here for more details on preparing your home.
Regardless of where you live, knowing what to do before, during, and after a disaster can make all the difference when seconds count. Points of Light launched Good & Ready to help people prepare themselves, their families and their communities. Good & Ready is a year-round online and on-the-ground emergency preparedness initiative led by Points of Light working with core partners Ready.gov, American Red Cross, and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH).
Kellie Bentz is Points of Light’s director of disaster services.