How To Survive A Mega Storm

SANDY PATIENCE

Frustration — and in some cases fear — mounted in New York City on Thursday, three days after Superstorm Sandy. Traffic backed up for miles at bridges, large crowds waited impatiently for buses into Manhattan, and tempers flared in gas lines.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would send bottled water and ready-to-eat meals into the hardest-hit neighborhoods through the weekend, but some New Yorkers grew dispirited after days without power, water and heat and decided to get out.

Bridges into the city were open, but police enforced a carpooling rule and peered into windows to make sure each car had at least three people. The rule was meant to ease congestion but appeared to worsen it. Traffic jams stretched for miles, and drivers who made it into the city reported that some people got out of their cars to argue with police.

With only partial subway service, lines at bus stops swelled. More than 1,000 people packed the sidewalk outside an arena in Brooklyn, waiting for buses to Manhattan. Nearby, hundreds of people massed on a sidewalk.

With the electricity out and gasoline supplies scarce, many gas stations across the New York area remained closed, and stations that were open drew long lines of cars that spilled out onto roads.

 

The storm killed at least 90 people in the U.S.

More than 4.6 million homes and businesses were still without power.

This brings up a reminder for us in the event we have another 1993 blizzard. This advice comes from the hardy survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and it’s not the usual flashlight, batteries, water, generator, gasoline tips.

 

Here's what they said:

• Outdoor solar lights can be brought in at night to light the indoors.

• When you make a video of your home for insurance purposes beforehand, open drawers and closets so the contents are visible.

• Have a tire plug repair kit and pliers to pull out nails or screws, since debris in the roadway causes flats and leaks that are tough to repair when everything is closed.

• Extend your cell phone battery's life by texting instead of calling and turning off Internet/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS connections.

• Bank safes and safe deposit boxes are not waterproof. During flooding, items left in them may be damaged and not accessible for weeks.

• Have thick tarps and roofing tacks in case you lose shingles from the wind.

What I didn't expect was the advice of a different nature that many added after their practical tips:

• Faith and the knowledge that no matter what, your life and the life of your family is more important than any material possession you may have.

• Keep a positive attitude and help your neighbor!

• Remember to have patience with your family, friends and neighbors. ... Work together and share your resources.

• Talk to each other. Share old stories. Some of the best relationships were made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as neighbors discovered new friends next door and grew closer helping one another through a trying time.

• Read a book.