We all have plans, right?

Sandy sure took a real toll on the East Coast. Perhaps it’s time to assess what type of plans we had in place this time for Sandy to be ready for the next one.  We all have plans, right?

Since disasters is are a hot topic right now, information is readily available and should be taken advantage of so the next time we hear a hurricane is heading for the Outer Banks or have a power outage or any type of disaster, we aren’t scrambling to get things ready right when it hits.

So, what should we do now?

  1. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER ON A DAILY OR WEEKLY BASIS – and back it up in the CLOUDS! I can’t emphasize this enough. There are such more important things to think of when you are evacuating than your desktop or external hard drive, but when everything settles down, you will be so grateful you had backed up all your important documents and PHOTOS. People say the most they are sad about is the loss of photos. With so many of our photos now digital – keep them in the clouds. Also, if you really want to keep the precious ones, scan them and send them to the clouds. The photos may not be the originals, but they won’t be lost, either.
  2. Gather a supply of batteries – every single type of batteries ALL your electronic take, especially batteries for your radios. Perhaps invest in hand crank radios and flashlights. Put the batteries away and don’t “borrow” from your stash. Make sure they stay dry.
  3. Invest in a corded phone for landlines. These work even when the electricity is off.
  4. Think about the food in your refrigerator. I read of a tip to see if and how long your freezer/refrigerator has been off in case you had to evacuate for any length in time. Leave a penny on top of an ice cube in the freezer. If you come back and the penny’s refrozen at the bottom of the tray (or sitting in water), you know there was a lengthy outage that allowed the ice to melt completely. Which means all food has to be thrown out.
  5. Take difficult-to-replace papers and put them in a water-proof container. Keep it where you can grab it and run. First priority is things with raised seals and original signatures: your car titles, your passport, your home deed, etc. Keep them in a safe place where you can quickly grab them and go. OR scan them and send them to the clouds.
  6. Have cash around for emergencies. If the power goes out you won’t be able to access your money making debits or credit cards virtually worthless.
  7. Go to the cell phone store and buy the cheapest possible phone that will hold your SIM card. Charge it and keep it in a waterproof container. This way, you have a fully-charged backup and a replacement if your primary phone gets wet, damaged, or lost.
  8. Don’t abandon your pets when you evacuate. Your emergency kit should also include a leash, food and meds for your pet, and your vet records. Keep a photo of your pets handy in case you get separated – someone might recognize them. You could also make a separate “pet survival” kit by keeping all these items in a pet carrier.

Mark your pet’s collar with your phone number and make sure they have their current tags attached to their collar. If you haven’t done so, you may want to microchip both your cats and dogs. That is the first thing police and vets check for when a stray animal is found.

Plan shelter for your pet too – investigate pet-friendly motels, since many emergency shelters don’t allow them.

Hurricane Sandy and Irene has taken a real toll on the Outer Banks, but we bounce back each time even better than before. To make sure you don’t have so far to bounce when a disaster hits, prepare now.