Tens of millions of East Coast residents are preparing for what may be one of the “biggest storms to ever hit the U.S.”. Hurricane Sandy, dubbed “Frankenstorm” is still many miles out to sea, moving up the coastline at 15 mph, but effects of the “megastorm” are already beginning to be felt. With hurricane-force winds of 75 mph, the exceptional size of Hurricane Sandy means the heavy rains and winds starting Sunday and lasting as late as Wednesday.
Sandy has killed at least 66 people so far, including 51 people in Haiti, as it made its way up through the Caribbean and headed towards the United States. The hurricane is expected to bring “life-threatening flooding” to some states considering Monday’s full moon, which prompted the shutdown of New York City’s subway and widespread evacuations. President Obama called Hurricane Sandy “a big and serious storm.” Federal officials, he said, were “making sure that we’ve got the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system. My main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously.”
Buses, subways, trains, and other means of public transportation are being shut down in many areas. Residents are recommended to tape, shutter or board their windows and bring items in from the outside. Patio furniture could easily blow away and break a window in the 75 mph winds expected during the hurricane.
It is also recommended that those in the path of Hurricane Sandy prepare the inside of their homes for a loss of power. By Sunday evening, most stores will be closed until Hurricane Sandy has passed. There are some simple things you can do at home, however, to be prepared.
Have a cooler on with ice prepared for perishable items in the refrigerator. Take plastic sandwich bags and fill them with water. Put the water-filled bags in the freezer. Fill the bathtub with water so the toilet may be flushed when the power is out.
Move the beds away from windows. If a bedroom is too close to trees or woods, move the beds into the living room, or another part of the house. With high winds expected for days, those in the path of Hurricane Sandy are expected to see many downed trees and phone lines.
If pets are alarmed by the storm, remember that they don’t understand what’s going on. Cats can be calmed by feeling secure. Find a cardboard box and open it. Put a newspaper or tissue paper along the bottom. The cat will most likely climb inside and stop meowing.
In case the storm gets too bad, be prepared to head to a safer area. Make sure the car is filled with gas. Have a travel bag packed for each member of the family. Don’t forget the pets! Make sure a pet carrier is on hand to take the pets if everyone must leave.
Please remember, items in the home are replaceable, lives are not. It is easier to rebuild a home and purchase new belongings then it is to bring a loved one back to life. Please stay safe during Hurricane Sandy.
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