More than 60 million people are in the path of Hurricane Sandy, a huge and dangerous storm playing a nasty Halloween trick on the entire East Coast. It’s a reminder that all of us should be prepared for emergencies any time, including flooding, power outages from downed trees and possible evacuation orders.
In addition to getting your house and vehicle ready, you should have an emergency “grab and go” bag in case you are asked to evacuate before the storm — or your home is damaged and you have to leave afterward. As I wrote on NYC on the Cheap, a Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels. A Go Bag should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year.
Here’s the must have list for a from the NYC Dept. of Emergency Management:
- Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.).
- Extra set of car and house keys.
- Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50 to $100 on hand.
- Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars.
- Flashlight — light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries.
- Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages as well as other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- First-aid kit.
- Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map.
- Child care supplies or other special care items, including some simple games like playing cards or Monopoly that don’t require electricity
It’s always smart to be prepared. My mother used to say — and yours probably did, too — prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
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