I live in the Northeast which, as you might’ve heard, was slammed by Superstorm Sandy. I’d read all the reports and I was as ready as I could be. I knew the lines would be long to get to markets for food and supplies, so I stocked up a couple days ahead of the storm. I was ready at home, too, because I have a quick-to-get-to-in-the-dark place in the house with flashlights, candles, and a hand-cranked radio ready to go in case we lost power (we didn’t, thank goodness).
I also checked the article I edited for our December issue, which lists all the things you should have on hand to keep yourself emergency ready for a winter or any-time-of-year, plus other tips my apartment building sent out to residents:
• Stock up on a sensible supply of drinking water and non-perishable foods. Figure a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and washing. And don't forget your pets! If you lose power, think dried or canned food that needs no heating, plus a non-electric can opener.
• Fill a bathtub with water for emergency use. Also keep moist wipes and garbage bags with ties on hand for hygiene and personal care (the bags make make-shift toilets).
• Keep cell phones fully charged.
• Have a first-aid kit available. And renew any prescription meds you may need.
• If your home has a patio, deck, or balcony, remove all items and bring them indoors.
• Stay away from windows during the storm. I have indoor shutters on some of mine that I've closed to prevent any flying glass from entering the room.
• Keep plenty of gas in at least one vehicle for charging small electronics (think phones) and driving to get supplies. Also make sure you have a charger that fits your vehicle.
• Keep hand-cranked radios and flashlights ready to go; make sure you have extra batteries.
• Consider investing in a portable generator. Troy-Bilt XP7000 30477, $900, and Generac GP55000 5939, $670, did great in our tests. They can be rolled into a garage, shed, or basement when not in use and can keep fridges, well pumps, and lights going from 8 to 18 hours (depending on the size) on just a tank of gasoline.