frankenstorm. a public safety announcement!
In case you have been living in a hole and haven't read the news, a giant storm is headed for the US and parts of Canada. They're calling it "Frankenstorm" not only because it's happening during the week of Halloween, but also because it is the rare combination of multiple storms, including Hurricane Sandy and two big winter storms, all mixing together into one super scary concoction of Mother Nature madness.
I don't know about you, but I'm kind of terrified. They're saying that it could be the worst storm seen in the United States in one hundred years. It's hitting the East Coast, and probably isn't something you should take lightly. New York and New Jersey are said to be at the heart of the mess, but the size of the storm is so great that it may be even wider than hurricane Irene was and they are comparing it to The Perfect Storm (only more perfect). The estimated damage was $1 billion yesterday, and increased to $5 billion today, so I encourage you to be safe and be aware!
I'm posting this today because I have a lot of friends and family in the US who had no idea that this was even happening. Please do yourselves a favor if you haven't been following this and read the news... search Google for "Frankenstorm" and "Hurricane Sandy" and the latest news stories pop up.
What does this mean for Ontario? I'm not quite sure yet and that terrifies me. In case you didn't know, hurricanes/tornadoes are probably my #1 fear. They are saying that effects will definitely be felt from here to Nova Scotia, but how strong, nobody knows just yet. We generally tend to experience the same weather as New York, being that it is the closest US state, so that alone sends me into panic mode.
How can you prepare for this hurricane (slash) monster storm? Here is a list taken from the Washington Post... which you can view in detail here.
● Family emergency plan. If you live in an older home, make arrangements to stay with friends or family members who have sturdier shelter. If you live or work in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor. Elderly or disabled people may need extra assistance. Remember that many shelters do not accept pets. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
● Emergency contacts. Make a list of emergency phone numbers and contact information. Put paper lists in a plastic bag.
● Water. Keep at least one gallon per person per day and prepare a three-day supply.
● Food and other provisions. Prepare a three-day supply of non-perishable (canned or dried) food per person. Include baby supplies and pet supplies as needed.
● Flashlights and extra batteries.
● A first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications and medical items such as glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane, etc.
● Personal documents. Medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies and contact information for your home insurance agent. Keep these in a plastic bag.
● Extra cash. ATMs and credit card machines may not work in the event of a power outage.
● Charge your cellphone. Keep chargers and an extra battery on hand.
● Fill your car’s gas tank and set aside an extra set of car and house keys.
● Secure your property. Bring inside bikes, lawn furniture and anything that can be picked up by the wind.
● Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters if you have them.
● Smoke detectors. Make sure they have fresh batteries and are operating properly.
● Generators. If you have one, review the instructions and ensure you have the right fuel and equipment.
What to do during the storm
● Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve food.
● Turn off or unplug propane tanks, electronic equipment and appliances.
● Stay indoors. Drive only if necessary.
● During power outages, don’t use candles — they can be a fire hazard.
● Don’t use gas cooking ranges for heating your home because of carbon monoxide hazards.
● If you go outside during the storm, stay away from loose or dangling power lines. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
● Wear protective clothing and closed-toed shoes.
● Use your cellphone for emergency calls only, to conserve battery life.
●Don’t bring generators indoors.
No matter where you live in the US, this is something to watch. I don't mean to send anyone into a crazy panic, but considering how huge this sounds I want to make sure you are prepared and safe. I had horrible visions of people not knowing about this ahead of time and then trying to get into their cars and evacuate last minute, while being trapped on a flooded highway. Probably a little dramatic, haha, but the point is that I felt I had to put this information out here.
Are you worried? Have you been through a horrible storm before?