How To Prepare For A Hurricane? Some Lessons That Preppers Can Learn From Hurricane Sandy

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If you are just starting to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, the truth is that you are already too late.  Most of the essential supplies have already been stripped from store shelves.  If you don’t have an emergency generator, you might be without power for quite some time.  It is being estimated that up to 10 million people could lose power during this storm, and it is already being projected that some people may end up being without power for a week or more in the worst hit areas.  Hopefully you have already boarded up your windows.  They can be broken very easily during a hurricane, and you certainly don’t want to be dealing with a broken window during the worst moments of the storm.  Those that have prepared ahead of time are likely to be in good shape to ride this storm out, but sadly the reality is that most people have not prepared ahead of time.  Every time a major storm or natural disaster strikes, we always see the same thing happen.  Hordes of half-crazed people storm into the stores hoping to find the things that they need, and many of them end up leaving disappointed because what they were looking for has already sold out.  Thankfully, most of our “disasters” have typically only lasted a few days at most, but what will happen someday if a disaster ends up being permanent?  What if there is a disaster that is so bad someday that things never return to “normal”?  Would you and your family be able to survive on only the preparations that you have made so far?


Hopefully Hurricane Sandy will be a wake up call for a whole lot of people.  It is being projected that this storm will affect about 50 million Americans, and it is already been called “worse than Katrina” by some meteorologists.  It is an absolutely gigantic storm.  It is more than 1000 miles across and it is the largest hurricane to hit the U.S. since records of storm size began to be kept back in 1988.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the destructive potential of this storm is rated 5.8 on a scale that goes from 0 to 6.  So needless to say, referring to this storm as “the Frankenstorm” does not quite do it justice.  It is being touted as the worst storm to hit the east coast in 100 years.

According to Stu Ostro, a senior meteorologist at the Weather Channel, this is truly a history making storm…

“History is being written as an extreme weather event continues to unfold, one which will occupy a place in the annals of weather history as one of the most extraordinary to have affected the United States.”

So a lot of Americans are about to find out exactly how prepared they really are for a major natural disaster.

High winds of 80 MPH or higher are going to take down power lines all over the northeast over the next few days.  Along the coast, some people could see a storm surge that is up to 15 feet above sea level in some areas.  Other areas will see nightmarish flooding as a result of very heavy rain.

So there will certainly be a lot of challenges.  The good thing about a hurricane is that you typically have at least a few days in advance to make preparations.  Hopefully people have been making good use of the time.

Unfortunately, most Americans do not even have a short-term supply of food and water stored up.  A lot of people run out to grab some food and water from the stores at the last minute, only to find that there is none left.

For example, it is being reported that store shelves all over New York City have already been picked clean of bread and other essentials.

In Arlington, Virginia it is being reported that some supermarkets are already sold out of water.  If the worst happens and some people end up spending a week without tap water they are really going to wish that they had made some preparations ahead of time.

But food and water are not the only things in high demand.

According to CNN, other emergency supplies have been flying off the shelves as well…

Generators, flashlights, water, batteries — these are just some of the emergency supplies that are running out in many stores in the Northeast.

Nearly a third of the country’s northeast is preparing for Hurricane Sandy, which expected to make landfall on Sunday and Monday. Customers who have been flocking to stores may be coming home empty handed.

Fortunately this is only a temporary emergency, but what if we have a “permanent” emergency someday?

What will people do if they can’t find the things that they desperately need all of a sudden?

According to Fox News, one store in Ohio is reporting that people are actually calling from other states to see if they still have any supplies…

An assistant manager at a Lowes store in Columbus, Ohio, told that people were calling in from West Virginia and Maryland to ask for supplies.

And in northern Virginia, a cashier at Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City said batteries, flashlights and candles were flying off the shelves, reports.

When will people learn?

You don’t wait until the last minute to get necessary emergency supplies like plywood, hurricane shutters, tarps, sump pumps, ice chests, candles, flashlights, batteries and battery-powered radios.

For a hurricane, you need to be prepared to be able to survive for at least a week without any help from the outside world.  In the most extreme situations (such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina) the state of emergency created by a hurricane can last even longer.

So exactly how should one prepare for a hurricane? provides the following list of tips…

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

A recent CNN article included a list of supplies that you should have on hand in the event that a hurricane is on the way…

— A three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day.

— Three days of food, with suggested items including: canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, salt-free crackers, energy/protein bars, trail mix/nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food.

— A can opener.

— Flashlight(s).

— A battery-powered radio, preferably a weather radio.

— Extra batteries.

— A first aid kit, including latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; petroleum jelly.

— A small fire extinguisher.

— Whistles for each person.

— A seven-day supply of medications.

— Vitamins.

— A multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver.

— Cell phones and chargers.

— Contact information for the family.

— A sleeping bag for each person.

— Extra cash.

— A silver foil emergency blanket.

— A map of the area.

— Baby supplies.

— Pet supplies.

— Wet wipes.

— A camera (to document storm damage).

— Insect repellent.

— Rain gear.

— Tools and supplies for securing your home.

— Plastic sheeting.

— Duct tape.

— Dust masks.

— An extra set of house keys.

— An extra set of car keys.

— An emergency ladder to evacuate the second floor.

— Household bleach.

— Paper cups, plates and paper towels.

— Activities for children.

— Charcoal and matches, if you have a portable grill. But only use it outside.

But in the final analysis, preparation is going to look a little bit different for every family.

If you live along the coast, there is a good chance that you will need to evacuate.  If you live farther inland, you will probably be able to hunker down exactly where you are.

Hurricane Sandy will come and go, but hopefully millions of Americans will learn some lessons about preparation from this crisis.  One of these days we may have a disaster that lasts much longer such as a major economic crisis, an EMP attack, a nightmarish pandemic or a major war.  If we cannot handle a disaster that lasts for just a couple of days, what chance are we going to have at surviving something that lasts for months or even years?

That is something to think about.  Hopefully we will all reflect on emergency preparedness over the next few days.  Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and eventually there will come a point where we will find ourselves totally dependent on the preparations that we have made.

  • mark

    I was just reading the LDS Preparedness Manual Handbook#2 Provident Living.2012 Edition I was impressed on the amount of info to get prepared. You should check it out. This is not from the Church, but from someone with a lot of great ideas. You are never ready for everything.

  • Deborah

    Michael, I live on long island and feel your prayers tonight. I am terrified of this storm. It has not even started raining at this moment and some streets near us have begun to flood. I want to thank you for your prayers as we need them desperately. My 7 year old said “This is God and Jesus”. He is so smart. I sit here now with electric, and I only pray that i can protect the lives of my sons and husband, I feel that we are really going to be judged for our ridiculous selves. I am glad my kids know God when they see him. Thank you Michael

    • Michael


      Our prayers will be with you. Please keep us updated if you can. I fear that Long Island is going to get hit really badly. Hang in there and try to stay safe and warm.


    • seanipie

      I too live on Long Island, it’s pretty terrible over here. I’m glad everyone I know is ok, but my prayers go out to everyone, especially those affected by loss or death.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Stay safe Deborah. There will be some very rough times ahead.

  • Gary2

    Michael–you sure are getting a lot of mileage from this storm. How about addressing the root cause of all these monster franken storms and reduce greenhouse gasses and global worming.

    Just because you may not believe in global warming caused by greenhouse emissions does not make it any less true.

    And yes b4 some low information conservatives says that there were these storms in the past b4 global warming let me agree but say that the global warming is making these storms much worse and more frequent.

    • ScoutMotto

      “Just because you may not believe in global warming caused by greenhouse emissions does not make it any less true.”

      Just because you do believe in it doesn’t make it any less false.

    • Witness-311

      Nope, as Michael have previously exposed, it is the Earth itself that is becoming more unstable.

    • Kevin


      All the global warming / carbon to atmosphere has done is to be another catalyst to more manufacturing from the developed world to the developing world. The developed world reduces coal and then sells it to China which is fueling a tremendous electrical expansion. China has surpassed the US as the greatest contributor of carbon to atmosphere. There is more carbon to atmosphere today than 5 years ago while the developing world has reduced one unit the developing world has increased two.

      In all of the proposed treaties the developing world was given a pass on carbon emissions while a system was being put in place in the developed world to “trade” carbon credits. The bankers and Al Gore stand to get real rich from it. In the meantime “Big Oil” is buying into Natural Gas.

      The carbon to a

      • Maxx

        Who to believe?

        I had two college professors of geography and weather science both tell us that all they (scientists) really know is that the climate is changing but they have no real idea as to why and to what. I’ll take the word of these two Ph.D.’s on this I think over say, Gore who received his Ph.D. in weather and climate science from where exactly?

        And there is a newly emerging school of thought that thinks global warming ended some sixteen years ago and we are on the downswing of it. Then there are the sunspot theories which models are predicting that this is just the jump start to a new little ice age. All I know is that Sandy is kicking the east coast in the behind and it is cold and raining outside.

        • Kevin


          It’s my belief that if global warming caused by carbon fuels had validity they would not incorporate a system that not just allowed the developing world to be unregulated regarding carbon emissions but also facilitating their growth. The overall global carbon to atmosphere is increasing due to development in the developing world. We reduce coal consumption making more available for export. We increase the cost of energy in the US and by default decrease it’s cost in the developing world. To say I’m a bit suspicious of an agenda is an understatement.

          The end result is to increase the rate of development in the developing world not reduce the net global carbon to atmosphere. China has surpassed the US in carbon to atmosphere in 2010 and their unregulated development is in it’s infancy.

    • Prepping for the Future

      Typical liberal too stupid to understand what he is preaching. Globull warming is fraud if you believe Al Gore. Only a liberal would push an exposed fraud with the end result causing new taxes for Al Gore to get rich. Gary you seriously need to grow up. Let’s get rid of all cars, all electricity for our homes, all heating and see if it changes the weather Nope. Oh but we care about the environment? Right as you freeze to death and walk to work if you still have a job because of all the unemployment cause by the fraud and con to make Al Gore a billionaire. Yes more taxes more taxes more taxes all base on a Con. How did that Green Energy policy of Obozo work I love paying 3.89 a gallon for gas instead of 1.89 a gallon there is your typical liberal solution, worthless.

  • paul

    That information is not freely accessible. Need to subscribe to it, probably buy something.

  • GA

    Good luck to everybody up in the Northeast. Be careful.

  • Mark …
    • Mondobeyondo

      I’m in shock!
      Why couldn’t it have been that boat Gilligan got lost on?

      • liberranter

        I think the SS Minnow reappeared in the Bermuda Triangle some years later.

  • WM

    Another well written article. I am amazed how many people I know are just going to not be prepared, not having extra food or water. My work called today, they are shutting down all shifts today.

    I will email this to everyone I know, perhaps This article along with Sandy will hopefully wake more people up.

  • Dave Webb

    The only true preparation is well in advance as was said.
    Don’t depend on electricity being available. Here is what can be done if necessary. They make ac power machines quite cheap that run off your automobile engine. This is great for powering florescent lights. Not much else, though I am sure it will power things like a refrigerator for a while. Usually these things are around $100-$150 and are between 400 watts and 900. This is basically a poor man’s generator and is only weighing in and a couple of pounds. If you have access to a relative or neighbor with power. Get those refrigerator goods out now. If not, get a large picnic cooler. Put your food in the cooler and surround it with ice. Some places will sell you dry ice if you store things out of the house in a well ventilated place.
    I think generators are great! but a lot of people suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning every time we have a long power outage. They are just as dangerous as running a car in a garage. They should be at least 100 feet from your house and well ventilated.
    I suggest a wood burning stove properly installed by a professional. I used one of these with a zero clearance exhaust pipe through the roof for years. My biggest mistake was overheating it. That was dangerous. It is easy to do. It warps the vent valve if you are not careful. Different woods burn at different temperatures. Hard woods burn hot. I always used a cresote burning commercial artifical log to get the fire going. It was more convenient and it certainly kept the stuff going up the chimney to a minimum. It cleans as it burns. Worth the money. It is a good idea to boil water on the stove but be careful. The water keeps the air moist and protects your sinuses.
    Normally, after getting it hot, I feed a log at a time and very slowly. The better logs are small. Minimize the oxygen with the valve. This gives you an hour or more per log. Sometimes two. Battery operated fans can help circulate the heat, but are not really necessary. A typical living room can be heated for weeks with logs. This keeps your plumbing intact. It does need caution and safe handling. You cannot walk away and leave it without checking on it. That is how fires start.
    I would suggest you surround it with a screen to keep it safe from animals and children. Both should be taught to give it caution. Most should be installed in a corner. But the corner should be fireproofed. Hopefully with stone floor and brick around the stove on the walls. I leave that to the pros to figure out. They can make it look quite nice.
    Long term, canned goods are your best bet. Soups easily heated on the stove always help. I used to use a metal plate between the stove and the pans. That metal plate had a wood handle. It keeps your pans from burning. It slowed the heat going to the food as well so it takes a little longer to warm up.
    The new house doesn’t have a stove. My wife has respiratory problems so I have not put one in yet. I mention it because down the road there will be one. We heat with electricity. Our local power company decreed it years ago that after 1985 all the new homes were all electric. The other house had gas heat. That potentially could heat the whole house from the gas stove we had.
    A lot of people that are poor, used propane. I have always felt that was not safe. But that was just me.
    I am sure a lot of people know a lot more about tips we could pass on than I have covered here.

    • Eisenkreutz

      Thank you for the excellent post.

    • Alyssa

      Running a car engine to get 900 watts of electricity is a stupid idea. You’ll use up all of your fuel quite quickly. Generator 100′ from house? Why?

  • Kevin

    The problem with too small a generator on something like a refrigerator that may pull 10 amps (roughly 1000 watts/1 kw) is that it takes double that to start the compressor. What happens is it takes too long to come up to speed overheating the windings on the compressor. It’s not the pure resistive load but the var load to create the magnetic field that poses a problem.

    If anyone is entertaining a generator in the future and you have propane or natural gas bite the bullet and buy one powered from those fuels.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Occasionally, I’ve spoken to preppers who have had moments of self-doubt and asked me, “Am I nuts for doing all this?” My response: hell no, you aren’t nuts. Preppers are some of the sanest people around. And I say that not only because of the threat of natural disasters, but also, because there is so much economic and political turmoil in the world right now. These are very dark times that we’re facing here in The Banana Republic of America, a collapsing empire that is sliding deeper and deeper into the economic abyss. And the economic picture is also incredibly bleak in Spain, Greece and other European countries. This global depression, as Gerald Celente predicts, will only get worse—even worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. Between a global economic meltdown, the collapse of both the BRA dollar and the euro, a strong possibility of World War III, and violent unrest in many parts of the world, these are incredibly dangerous times.

    “We’re getting ready to face a really big crisis, even bigger than the World War II Generation.” —Alex Jones

    “The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, and environmentally.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    “This country is a boiling cauldron of hatred and anger, and all it is going to take is just the right ‘spark’ to cause all of this hatred and anger to absolutely explode.”—Michael T. Snyder

    “We’re in a state of perpetual warfare. Our economy pretty much runs on war.”—Abby Martin

    “Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.”—Chris Hedges

    “Prepare, prepare, prepare. Three months worth of water, fresh water, first aid supplies. If you are going to buy weapons, do it now for self-defense because it’s obvious that with 11 policemen being shot in a 24-hour period and police forces being cut back, you will have to look out for yourself. The predators will come out.”—Michael Ruppert

    “You will see states around the country start to go bankrupt. My leading contenders now are New Jersey and Illinois. California could be right up there. You will see tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of state employees laid off and fired. You will see pension funds disappeared overnight. You will see wages lowered. You will see much more civil unrest in this country.”—Michael Ruppert

    “When people get hungry and desperate, things get ugly. And I’ll tell you where it’s really going to get ugly: crime is going to go to levels we’ve never seen before.”—Gerald Celente

    “Homeland Security is armed and locked and ready to blow your brains out if you start protesting martial law. ”—Gerald Celente

    No, preppers, you aren’t nuts at all. They call you preppers for a reason: you believe in being prepared. Prepping makes perfect sense in The Banana Republic of America, land of the corrupt and home of the desperate.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Hurricane Sandy = practice session
    for the rest of us

  • Cinderella Man

    i was looking on my FB page today at all my friends on the east coast that were posting pictures and are fellow preppers and my heart let out a sigh of relief. Everyone should thank God for those that prepare because the future belongs to us. Believe me we will be the one saving the sheepletards from themselves.

  • HecatesMoon

    Cinderella Man, I am glad your friends are doing well…
    Outside only the lightest prepping though, I myself am starting to wonder if there is any point at all. If everything I have can be taken, if a weapon meant to protect me is taken right when I need it most, if preppers are the government’s first target in a major national event….then what’s the point?
    Everyone will then still be left to fate or luck or whatever a person wishes to call it.

  • liberranter provides the following list of tips…

    The LAST place I’d ever go to look for prepping and survival guidance is any web site in a “.gov” domain.

    • PALESTINA is a product of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In fact, FEMA has the controversial camps and going to their website is weird.

  • Jerica Fewell

    Viz. point 2 above, there are also in Afghanistan no significant insurgent groups willing to allow themselves to be bought off, as the Americans bought off many Sunni rebels via the “Awakening” plan. Paying Iraqi guerrillas not to fight us was the key to tamping down Iraq, from an American perspective.

    • Louise in MO



  • JJ

    I’m lucky to live in Lincoln, Nebraska. We’re well over 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean & we are virtually immune to any kind of natural disaster of a large scale.

    • Brian M.


  • PDN

    That Sandy storm was all about sensationalism and psychotic mass-media hysteria. Do NOT call this “wrath from God”, if God wants to create chaos, you will not live to tell the story!

  • I am not genuinely excellent with English but I line up this really easygoing to recognize .

  • Witness-311