Not knowing when or where a hurricane like Sandy will make land is stressful--but there are ways to be prepared for the worst of the storm.
Preparation is the best defense.
“Although there is still some uncertainty as to the track, the potential of the storm impacting our area is increasing by the day," said Adrian Grieve, Red Cross regional emergency services officer for Northeast Pennsylvania. "The 13 Red Cross chapters in Northeast Pennsylvania are placing trained disaster workers, vehicles and supplies on alert in the 16-county region. We’re also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts. We’re planning for the worst, and hoping for the best.”
Some ways residents can get ready for bad weather include:
Develop a family evacuation plan.
Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as
much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
Fill your car's gas tank, as gas stations are vulnerable to power outages.
Stock up on enough water and non-perishable food items that could last each person in the home up to five days. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water daily per person.
Put together an emergency kit, including flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, and rain gear.
Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
Have enough cash on hand in case ATMs and banks are not open.
Keep important documents such as insurance cards, medical records, bank account numbers, birth certificates or social security cards in a waterproof or watertight container or resealable plastic bag.
Keep all of your prescription medicines in a plastic bag, and keep it with you.
Don't forget your pets: have at least three days' worth of pet food, bottled water and supplies for your pet.
It’s also important for businesses and schools to prepare by making sure warning or alert systems for employees are in order and contact information is up-to-date. More information on being prepared is available at readyrating.org.
A free Red Cross Hurricane App is available which puts real time information and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. From your mobile phone, call "**REDCROSS" (**73327677) and a link will be sent to you to download the app or you can download them directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.
It's also a good idea to keep emergency supplies in your car.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are gearing up for Hurricane Sandy as well. They're just one of the many companies on standby for the storm. They've asked all employees to be ready to come into work, regardless of vacation or other schedules.
PennDOT is getting ready in case trees or branches come down on some of the busier roads in the region. Right now, workers are also focusing on preventing flooding.
Ron Young, District Press Officer for PennDOT Engineering District 5, said, "We're going to have our crews out checking drainage inlets, checking debris on the roads, clearing the inlets out, clearing any branches or things along the road, trying to clean things up on the roads so water can get into the drains and off the roadways properly."
He says PennDOT is also getting ready to turn its traffic center in the Allentown office into a command center during and after the storm.