My family and I were very lucky earlier this week when Hurricane Sandy hurled itself at the East Coast.
We lost power for about eighteen hours, but with no property damage or anyone being hurt, we are much better off than many people still dealing with the aftermath of this horrible storm.
If you are trying to find ways to help beyond simply donating money, this post will help you.
This storm did get me thinking about a couple of things as I watched far too many people not take it serious enough.
The weather is changing. I don't know how anyone can deny that any more. The severity of what is hitting us now is constantly escalating. When we are warned about the dangers of anything weather related people need to pay attention.
Seeing people blow off the warnings or joking about the approaching storm angered me. They will be the first also complaining after the fact about what went wrong.
Social Networks were more important than ever. When the power went out, I had a radio I could listen to, but Twitter, Path and Instagram allowed me to stay in touch and up-to-date on what was happening. With friends spread up and down the East Coast I could quickly check in with them via these networks. Plus, I was sharing updates so that friends and family knew we were doing ok.
Having a phone and iPad that both had cellular service were critical as I could use them when the power and internet went down. This is why having WiFi only devices is fine in daily life, but in a time like this you need other options.
It is sad to see that it takes a disaster to remind people to be good to their fellow man. Watching people open their doors, businesses setting up charging stations and the outpouring of support is great. But, why can't we keep this in mind every day instead of just the days when there is trouble?
Finally, it reminded me that not enough people know how to survive in a time of crisis. Growing up camping, hiking and spending time outdoors certainly has helped me know how to deal with situations like this, but it also reminded me I need to know more.
The kids and I played board games. We used up the hot water reserve in my water cooler to make hot chocolate to warm them up. I cooked dinner on my Coleman stove in the garage from our well stocked pantry. I had a supply of back up power, water, food, first aid, cash and other necessary supplies. I wonder how many people are prepared in this way?
This is not going to be the last tragedy or disaster we are going to face. It is really important that you have the supplies and skills to survive for up to a week or more. Do you?
As I sat there in the dark after the kids went to bed enjoying my glass of rye, I got thinking about the areas where we were not as prepared as we should be.
Living in the New England means we have plenty to be concerned about and there are a few areas where we are lacking and I'm going to take the steps to remedy them. I know last year when the tornadoes came through it raised some red flags that we fixed and Sandy raised a few more for us.
This storm effected so many people I care about and we are going to all be dealing with it's aftermath for a while to come. Please keep that in mind as we all move forward.