As Hurricane Sandy has made its way up the East Coast, families in central Virginia are sighing a collective breath of relief. The ‘Frankenstorm’ has been a non-event in this part of the country so far, although stronger winds may still hit tonight.
Those in the Northeast won’t be as lucky. The 5 p.m. update from the National Weather Service shows that the storm is about 30 miles from Cape May, New Jersey and should be on shore within the hour.
Flight cancellations are up to nearly 14,000 including almost 5,000 already cancelled for Tuesday, according to Flight Aware.
The storm will still be massive when it hits the coast. CNN reported shortly after 4 p.m. today that there were already over 765,000 without power.
Snow has been falling in western Virginia for most of the day today. It’s currently 36 degrees with light snow falling in Pulaski, Va.
West Virginia Metro News has photos on their website showing snow starting to accumulate. Snow is forecast to be heavy in the mountains of West Virginia.
Twitter updates are one of the best ways to stay in touch with those areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey just tweeted, “I am very disappointed in those who did not listen to my order to evacuate.”
From Mayor Bloomberg in New York City comes this tweet, “The storm is here. It’s going to get worse this evening.”
Lack of preparation and failing to follow evacuation orders often cause problems for people in natural disasters.
Baby boomers are often well-prepared, perhaps the result of being raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression.
Ready.gov offers a form you can download for a family emergency plan, information about making a disaster supply kit, and information about what to do in any type of disaster.
Your family’s disaster kit should include water, non-perishable food, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, a flashlight, any needed medications and a first aid kit.
You should also have insurance information on file as well as an inventory of your valuables and an evacuation plan with a meeting place set up in advance.
When preparing your home before a hurricane or other wind event, you should store or secure any loose materials in your yard.
Most people think about their lawn furniture and children’s toys but one item many people don’t think about securing is their trampoline.
Springfree Trampoline offers advise to those with trampolines. Here are some safety measures to follow to anchor trampolines prior to a hurricane or other high wind event.
If possible, change the location of your trampoline, moving to a sheltered location or indoors in a garage or basement. If this isn’t an option, secure the frame with sand bags and collapse the net to prevent the enclosure from being caught in high winds.
You should also remove all accessories including balls, nets, ladders and games. You should not put the trampoline on its side as this positioning will pick up wind more easily.
According to a tweet just posted by Bret Baier, Hurricane Sandy made landfall at 6:03 p.m. on the southern New Jersey shore. Be prepared: it’s more than just the Girl Scout motto.