Mother Nature is at it again and it looks like the residents of Philadelphia will not only be carving pumpkins and eating candy on Halloween, but hunkering down through a massive storm as well. This “Frankenstorm” or “Snor’eastercane” is anticipated to start making an impact with heavy rain and sustained winds beginning Sunday through Tuesday or even Wednesday. The National Weather Service has been following the mega storm and has been issuing warning for residents along the eastern seaboard on how to prepare Sandy the Storm. There are green ways to prepare for the storm and stay safe, and even have some fun.
Experts are predicting wind gusts, coastal flooding, and utility outages/disruptions for people living along the east coast up through the New England states. Therefore, precautionary safety measures are being communicated to the Philadelphia area through various community websites, news channels, and radio announcements. Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter has already declared Philadelphia in a state of emergency, starting at 5p Sunday through Tuesday at 5p. There is a strong chance power lines will go down, flooding will occur, and residents of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs may be homebound with no power for the next few days. The Red Cross of Philadelphia suggests having enough provisions to last three (3) days and has cots available for shelters if need be.
Hitting the gas station and filling up the tank is strongly recommended. Then, head to the store and stock pile batteries, bottled water (1 gallon per person), first aid kits, dry foods, and medicines (try and get all prescriptions one might need in the next few days filled today). If you are able to, get some fruit and make a few items which will not go bad if the electricity goes out, such as trail mix, muffins, bread, and granola bars. Or, bust out the camping gear and put the cooking equipment to work (only in well ventilated areas with adult supervision, of course). A small grill with kerosene would be ideal to heat up a few canned items if the power goes out.
Also, think of the young ones – get together some activities, which are not electronic, to help occupy them when the lights are off. Think: cards, board games, paints or puzzles. (This might be one of the few times kids will not be able to sit and text when they are in the presence of their family and have no choice but to interact face-to-face with friends and family!) Keep in mind there may be elderly or ill neighbors who may need help in gathering provisions. Give them a call and see if there will be anyone staying with them or even offer to call every so often, which will provide them with peace of mind. And, one must NOT forget the pets – make sure there is enough pet food and fresh water to last for a few days and pet carriers are easily accessible. If a sudden evacuation is called for, it is important to have leashes, cat or dog carriers, and tags ready to go.
Try and make the best out of the situation and have some fun. Host your own Sandy party – invite family, friends or neighbors over to weather the storm together! Have everyone bring their own homemade treats and provisions to share. And, it would be a great time to tell scary stories – don’t forget Halloween is just around the corner and this could be a great time to carve those pumpkins!
If everyone takes heed and takes the appropriate measures, Sandy will hopefully not be as detrimental to people and property as predicted. Just remember to stick together, listen to the radio, and be ready to batten down the hatches!