Waiting for Hurricane Sandy

Waiting for Hurricane Sandy

Photo: David Gard/The Star-Ledger

[Editor's Note: At time of posting, Hurricane Sandy is still hundreds of miles off the Atlantic coast and has yet to make its expected landfall in central New Jersey. Bob Vila Nation contributor John V. of Our Home from Scratch blogs from a Philadelphia suburb in South Jersey, where he's spent the last 48 hours readying his home for the storm. What follows is John's latest blog post.]

Hey guys!  Hope this weather filled week finds you well. Lisa and I are pretty much smack dab in the middle of the path of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy Trajectory

Photo: Weather.com

It’s not supposed to get terrible until sometime tomorrow. We’ve heard the eye of the storm will make landfall around Ocean City, NJ sometime in the early hours of Tuesday morning (1:00 AM or so). This is really the first major hurricane we’ve ever experienced. Last year we had Irene, but I think that was a tropical storm by the time it reached us. Here’s how our Hurricane Sandy preparation is going…• We rounded up all of our flashlights and bought extra batteries. We have flashlights both downstairs in our kitchen and also in our bedroom, in case the power goes out while we’re sleeping.

• We did all of our laundry ahead of time. If the power goes out for a few days, it’s a bad time to be out of clean socks and underwear! Having a ton of clean clothes available means I’ll be able to get to work even if the power is out for an extended period after the storm.

• We ran the dishwasher one last time and will be switching to disposable plates if we lose power. This is so we don’t have a ton of dishes sitting in the dishwasher. We could still wash dishes in the sink too, but who wants to do that?

• We cranked down the temperature of the fridge and the freezer. That switch will likely cause some of the items in the fridge to freeze, but it will extend the life of those same items if the power is lost. Keep the fridge doors closed and only open it for essentials; don’t loiter with the doors open!

• We stocked up on ice. Lisa has been making ice like it’s her job and then emptying the trays into a gallon-size Ziploc bag. If we lose power and it’s out for a good day or so, Lisa can dump the ice into a cooler with essential items like milk… and bacon.

• I went around the perimeter of the house and brought in anything that might fly or be blown away in high winds. Since we don’t have a deck or deck furniture, this amounted to a couple pumpkins.

• I unplugged the transformer for the landscape lighting from an exterior outlet.

• Both cars are in the garage.

• Lisa stocked up on some baby formula that has a long shelf life if we run out of milk. Lisa and I can stick with water, but the baby needs her nutrients!

• We also stocked up on a good amount of non-perishable food items, and Lisa baked some last-minute items like biscuits.

• We do have beer in the house, so nobody panic. Remain calm. It’s not an Octoberfest, but we go into power outages with the beer we have, not the beer we want.

• We’re keeping our phones charged constantly.

• Most importantly, we’re keeping a close eye on the news and weather reports in case we need to evacuate.

Consult Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Preparedness for more tips. If, you find yourself homebound, it’s best to stay busy. Take the time to finish up some smaller jobs around the house. “There’s only so much weather TV you can take!” comments John.

For more on hurricane preparedness, consider:

Be Prepared for Natural Disasters
Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Preparedness
Hurricane-Proof Your House with Impact-Resistant Windows