After Hurricane Sandy: Your Emergency Kit Reminder

To all our readers on the East Coast, we he hope you are safe and dry with minimal damage from Hurricane Sandy. Admittedly, the photos look both wild and unbelievable. That the unstoppable New York City could be waterlogged for days, if not weeks, feels surreal. But, if nothing else, this storm teaches us to be prepared for the worst – while hoping for the best.

I was in New York during Hurricane Irene and remember my mom calling me on the Friday before, reminding me to get items for my emergency kit, like a flashlight and batteries. Considering that most of the important items to me plug into a wall to charge (e.g. my iPhone), it was a good wake-up call in terms of how to best mitigate a natural disaster.

Hurricane Sandy is over – but it’s no excuse not to prepare your apartment for next time. And, just think, if you gather your emergency kit items now, you won’t have to fight off the masses at CVS next time there’s a storm.  Or, an earthquake (hey there, West Coast readers).

Suggested Emergency Kit List:

  • At least a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day),
  • Non-perishable food (energy bars are a good choice)
  • Manual can opener
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Utensils and utility knife
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Toiletries
  • Poncho
  • Cell phone and battery-powered cell phone charger
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank/solar radio and flashlight
  • Plenty of batteries
  • Extra cash
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if you need to evacuate)
  • Duct tape/plastic tarp
  • Tools to fix minor damage in your home/apt (depending on how far away your landlord lives)
  • Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups (Alissa-specific addition)

What about you? Anything else you’d add?

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (7)

  1. Avatar Hilary Pea

    1. Extra pet food and supplies. 2. You can get one-time use phone chargers from many Dollar Tree stores. 3. Playing cards (to play solitaire or with others). They are more compact and versatile than most other types of games. 4. If you have children under 12, don’t forget their favorite books and toys. Especially activity books, coloring books and flash cards. Crayons/markers, too. 5. Crossword puzzle and activity books for adults, could help pass the time.
    Boredom busters are important for children, adults, and pets. Life with internet, television, and electricity moves much slower than you think!

  2. Avatar piper smith

    the most important thing is a extra dog

    you don’t know what could happen and you might want a friend

  3. Avatar Rio

    Keep your emergency stuff in backpacks or other easy to carry bags. Keeps it together and easy to grab if you need to go. Our med-large backpacks have Heatsheet emg blankets, sleep sacks, small trauma kits, clothes, some ultralight camping gear, eating utensils, measuring cup, bowls, and a bunch of freezer bags with the name of the dry food in them, and how much water to add to make the meals, we rotate them monthly for lunches. Check out Freezer Bag Cooking. We also have freezer bags with instant oatmeal & soup pkts, tea bags, sugar & creamer. Five 20 & 24 oz soda bottles fit in the backpacks, and make great, cheap water bottles. We keep qt & gal freezer bags in the kits, to keep important stuff dry, wallets go in sandwich bags. A third backpack has about 2-3 gal plain water in the tough & strong 20 oz Zero Vitamin Water bottles, a nylon tarp & parachute cord, or the nylon tent. Our AquaRain water filter (makes thousands of gal of almost any water safe) is used daily on the kitchen counter, and takes 3 min to put in the water backpack. We have a lot of power outages, and are all electric. We have a single burner GasOne butane stove, safe if you have good cross ventilation, and a battery carbon monoxide alarm. The stove fits in a backpack with 2-4 fuel cans. We also have an Ambient emergency radio, solar & crank, that can charge the Kindles and phones. Hope this helps. We can be fine for a week, or two if needed without going near a shelter.

    • Admin Admin

      Thanks for your great advice. Looks like you are ready for the next hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or whatever it is that hits your neighborhood. Hopefully you don’t need to use your emergency kits for a long time!

  4. Admin Admin

    One of our bloggers who had to evacuate his apartment for several days when Sandy hit just found out that his renter’s insurance policy does not cover for flood damage, but covers up to $5,000 for the loss of use of his apartment. Fortunately, the apartment was OK when the power came back, so he does not need to relocate. Lesson here is to pull out your renter’s policy now and read what it does and does not cover!

  5. Avatar Whitney

    1. A sound mind.
    Since we cannot control the weather we can control our peace and the way we react to this.
    2. Books.
    If you’re going to be out of the house, a book would do you good.
    3. My Bible(Or anything from your religious beliefs that is small enough to carr with yo)
    It helps me keep peace and increase the faith.

  6. Sisko Sisko

    Having lived in a NYC highrise through many disasters, I’d add to Alissa’s list my emergency routine:
    1.) Assume power will go out. In a highrise building that also means no water. Fill largest cook pots with water for cooking (gas stove should be OK) and fill the bathtub with water for washing and flushing the toilet.
    2.) Find flashlights, check batteries, place on bookcase.
    3.) Take out my Red Cross hand-crank radio that also works as a cell phone charger and flashlight. (I got the radio when I made a donation to my favorite Public Radio station. Thanks WAMC!)
    4.) Cross my fingers and hope for the best.