Rock Talk

Low on Food, Gas: My Lesson in How to Prepare for NJ Hurricanes

Last updated on May 16th, 2017 at 02:40 pm

Superstorm Sandy was a lesson for me on how to prepare for NJ hurricanes. As someone who lived most of his life in Michigan, preparing for hurricanes was never anything I considered. I get ready for storms now, especially because I live closer to the shore in NJ.

Right now, in my laundry room, I have a box loaded with supplies for a couple of days. Some of what’s in there:

  • Nonperishable food (mostly soup)
  • Candles
  • Water
  • Mini propane tanks for my camp stove (those are in my garage)
  • Chips and cookies (for a little comfort if things get stressful)
  • Extra dog food (sealed five-pound bag)

That’s what I have now. When Sandy came, I quickly realized that I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have much food in my house (for me or my dog), less than a half tank of gas in my car and maybe $40 cash.

Every passing hour into the night of Sandy brought rain that lashed the windows of my house. Everything inside vibrated from the bursts of wind. The lights flickered, even went out momentarily, but somehow managed to stay on.

I was anxious through the storm and I’ve never seen my dog so worried, but it turned out that I was one of the lucky ones: my home, just across the Delaware River in Easton, Pa., made it through with only minor damage.

My street didn’t lose power for long and was the exception to the experience of many. Friends who lived less than two miles away were without power for days. Even with electricity at home, I wasn’t prepared to deal with power outages at gas stations, grocery stores and banks, where credit and debit cards weren’t working.

Preparing for hurricanes isn’t that complicated, but it does take some time. If you’re not sure how to start or what to do, check out our hurricane preparedness center. Plymouth Rock in NJ wants you to help others learn from your Sandy experience, so share your preparedness tips in the comments.

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