Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:40 pm
It’s been nearly three years since my life was upended by Superstorm Sandy. The storm knocked out power to my home for two weeks, destroyed my car and inundated my house with four and a half feet of water.
Even through all of that, my family and I took away many valuable lessons about handling hurricanes. Here are some hurricane preparedness tips learned from Sandy:
A generator was helpful. Our house lost electricity 10 hours before the storm hit and we were without power for two weeks. After my experience with Sandy, I’m an advocate for generators — even small ones. After the storm, we borrowed one from a friend and found that 1,200 watts was sufficient to power our refrigerator, a computer, cable modem, a television and many other small electric items like cell phone chargers and lamps.
D-sized batteries were scarce. If you don’t have a generator and rely on battery-powered items, like flashlights and radios, try to find ones that run on AA-sized batteries. In the days immediately after Sandy, there was not a single D-sized battery to be found on the Jersey Shore while AA-sized batteries were abundant.
Cooking food was still possible with gas. Although we lost power for two weeks, we were able to cook meals and provide limited steam heat (by boiling water) with our gas stove. If you don’t have a gas stove, make sure you have a full propane tank or plenty of charcoal for grilling, and plenty of matches.
Our car was destroyed by the storm. It didn’t get washed away or crushed — it was the salt water flooding. If the water was two inches lower or my car two inches higher, I would still be driving it today. If a storm is coming and you’re not evacuating, make sure your car is in a safe place, away from flooding or trees. Also be certain you will have a clear route to leave if that becomes necessary.
Above all, be prepared and remain calm. Plymouth Rock Assurance in NJ wants to know what you learned from Sandy that might help others. Use #DontForgetDontRegret to share your story through August 1 on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Find out more information and find hurricane preparation tips at DontForgetDontRegret.com.