Preparing for a Disaster: 5 Things to Do, Just in Case

Everybody knows to have candles and batteries, but what else should you have on hand?

Sandy, Sandy, Sandy. Will you be a day of rough seas and great beach combing or a power-outing-roof-ripping-basement-flooding monstrosity?

No one really knows for sure, so we'll take precautions, starting with these five tips courtesy of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Authority, which has built an extensive website to help citizens plan and prepare.

Ready.gov offers instructions on how to ready your family, your home, your car and even your business for an emergency. The site includes tips specific to disasters common in our area such as hurricanes, home fires and blackouts.

Here are five things Patch found that can help you get ready:

1.  Build a tailor-made kit

You're smart enough to build a kit with food and water, but FEMA suggests making sure you include foods your family will actually eat. If you're kids have never eaten a bean in their life, maybe a disaster isn't the time to present them with a can of cold red kidney beans.  Lucky for us, Sandy comes when the pantry is already stocked with Halloween candy.Also don't forget high-energy foods like protein bars and, FEMA suggests, skip salty foods that will make you thirsty.

2.  How much water is enough?

Speaking of thirsty, FEMA suggests storing one gallon for each person for three days. Click here for more tips about what not to use to store your water.

3.  Some non-food items you should have in your kit:

  • Duct tape, plastic sheeting and dust masks in case you need to shelter in.
  • Whistle to alert responders to your location
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Baby wipes and garbage bags for personal sanitation
  • A can opener
  • (Click here for the full list)

4.  Make a national communication plan.

If you've got relatives out of state, they may be just the ones you need when your local friends and family are mired in a disaster. Your Uncle Louie in Detroit or Aunt Emmy in Tampa could be the point person if you and your family become separated. FEMA also offers a PDF family emergency plan you can fill out and email to family and friends. There is also a PDF contact card that kids can carry with them. (We've included both above this story below the photo).

5.  What about the dog? 

Sandy, like Irene, could bring an evacuation to our area. If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency. For some pet specific tips, click here.

For more information on how to prepare for everything from a blackout to a cyber-attack, visit www.Ready.gov.

Ken October 26, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Now everyone will ne running out to buy every bottle of water, every loaf of bread and every drop of milk. After they do this most of it will go bad before they even get a chance to use it. That is not including the water, since that will not go bad, but they will probably have enough to last them a year. Than when people try to do their regular shopping this weekend it will be difficult because of these morons.
. October 26, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I heard Shop Rite on Fischer was a madhouse already.
jerseystrong October 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM
LOL today is Friday.. If I buy extra dry foods, drinks crackers, cookies, PJ, extra fruit/ etc... my kids have it gone by tues/ Wednesday night
Roanne October 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
what shoudl i do if the power does go out that long? shoudl i cook up all the frozen meat i have in our freezer???
stuffin October 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Get as much ice cream as your freezer can hold. That way if the power goes out you have all that ice cream to eat. And if it don't go out you have all thet ice cream to eat.
Donna Griffin October 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Just returned from there and they are running super low on bottled water.
George Clark October 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Thank God for this massive storm. Our economy will boom whence our houses are blown down. I just don't want the deficit to go up when fema has to bail all you people out so Romney has a plan to do away with fema. We can't afford to save people that didn't borrow money for a second house out of state. you should have known better. Stop depending on the government for bail outs. lol. Isn't that funny and how's my spelling? That would be a great eye opener if we got treated to fema's response under bush in the black section of new orleans. That would be rich for all you rich folk to have a dose of reality. See you under water or ice would be better for the economy. we'd be rebuilding everything. Oh sure some would starve and die, but hey you gotta scramble a few eggs to make our economy vultures richer. lol.
Project Bluebeam October 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM
No, just let it go bad and call into 101.5 after your power has been out for 3 days and complain that JCP&L should pay for it. Then write a letter to the governor and tell him how irritated your in-laws (who live on a lagoon) we're when the police forced them to evacuate. After that, go to the local Home Depot and chew out the store manager for not having 5,000 generators in stock. Proceed to the closest Stop N Shop and chew out their manager for running out of milk, bread, eggs, water, batteries, and Chef Boyardee. Make sure you contact Comcast, Verizon, and/or Direct TV and let them know how you were inconvenienced by the interruption of service. Don't take "power outage" as an excuse either. Lastly, do NOT attempt to fill up your car with gas until after the storm passes.
JosephGhabourLaw October 26, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Here's a list of what should be in a waterproof, lockable container you can easily grab. If you might evacuate, that is you're where a storm could hit, it's wise to gather up these items: - Banking information checkbook, savings account passbook, safe deposit box key - Birth, death and marriage certificates, divorce decree - Will and power of attorney - Social Security card and records - Military records - Medical records (living will, health care surrogacy, etc.) - Insurance policies - Health insurance cards - Retirement account records - Recent pay stubs, in case you have to document employment to collect benefits - Tax returns - Car titles and registrations - Mortgage deeds or rental agreements - All of your credit cards - Passports and/or green cards - Hard copy list of important phone numbers (relatives, bank and insurance company) DVD or flash drive on which you back up computer files just before you shut down the computer and evacuate - If possible Home inventory (on paper, disc, flash drive or video; you should keep another copy in a safe place, maybe at work or at the home of a relative out of state) Don't forget any family photographs that you could never replace. And good luck! May you return to find your home safe and sound.
Shep Proudfoot October 26, 2012 at 08:33 PM
now everyone will ne running
Peter W Bennett October 26, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Purchase a 3000-5000 watt power inverter and cables to hookup to your battery car under the hood. Grab a properly rated heavy duty extension cord (12-10 gauge). You now have a "generator" for some lights and the refrigerator! Be careful with this set up - you are handling dangerous electricity and follow the manufacturer's directions.
Monk October 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I have 7–10 days beer rations. I shall not want.
Stan Walker October 26, 2012 at 09:55 PM
"Shoodle" is the correct spelling.
tileguy October 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM
im working on the same rations my self
Dave Frank October 27, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Are you prepared for Hurricane Sandy? We have a wealth of experience and services ranging from water damage remediation, mold remediation, smoke and fire damage restoration. David Frank Home Improvement and Restoration Property Damage Specialists 732-930-0012 www.davidfrankdesigns.com How to Prepare: 1. Safeguard your possessions. 2. Speak with your contractor to prepare your house. 3. Develop a family emergency plan 4. File your insurance claim 5. Mitigate your damages with your contactor If your life is effected before, during, or after please dont hesitate to call. Our team will be there to help!!! David Frank Home Improvement and Restoration 732-930-0012
Jim October 27, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Buy ammo. FEMA is going to intern you like the Japs in WW2. NDAA means you have no right to trial. Dont mind my fear mongering. I want to see how many sheep we have in Brick township. Hope those section 8 homes have steel reinforced roofs right Acrapolis and the commmunist minions like Lydecky?
Jim October 27, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Whats going to happen when our neighborhood drug addicts cant get there fix? I hope FEMA airdrops crates of Roxicet onto Brick before its too late.
Jim October 27, 2012 at 07:10 AM
If NJ ends up anything like Katrina I would refuse help from the outside. Send all the dirtbags to the superdome to die.
Dentss Dunnagun October 27, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I have some SPAM left over from hurricane Donna 1960....is it still good ?
Frank Diliberti October 28, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I am all for safety but people who are not near the shore and are being panicked to think the floods of Irene will revisit us, should realize and think for a second. Most flooding from Irene was due to extreme record history amounts of rain that flooded Nj in august 2011, the ground and sewer systems were at max capacity and Irene was just enough rain to put us over the edge, I personally lost everything. We have not had much rain this month and the ground and levy's are very dry. So while the store's in manalapan do record sale's please understand the difference. Not to say any storm is good, But conditions were ripe with irene.
Kelly October 28, 2012 at 02:40 AM
OMG I am cracking up....


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