Lessons From Hurricane Sandy

The following is a list put out by a survivor of hurricane Sandy on things that he learned.  Most of the list I agree with, there are a couple of things I disagree with, like his comments on batteries, but overall I think that we can all learn from his experiences.

1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3
2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
3. Yes it can happen to you.
4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.

  • a. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage

6. Should have as much fuel as water

  • a. Propane
  • b. Gas
  • c. Kerosene
  • d. Firewood
  • e. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)

7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up…
(spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
8. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
9. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.

  • a. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
  • b. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.

10. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
11. Stored water can taste nasty.
12. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
13. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
14. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
15. Your 1972 honda civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
16. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
17. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
18. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. (Love you Steve!)
19. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
20. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
21. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
22. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
23. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
24. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
a. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
25. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
26. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
27. You can never have enough matches.
28. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
29. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
30. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
31. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!
32. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,
33. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
34. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty” hahaha
35. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of ramen and a box of poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)
36. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
37. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
38. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
39. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
40. Most things don’t take much power to operate.

  • a. Computers,
  • b. Phones
  • c. Radios
  • d. TV
  • e. lights
See also  Beans and Rice a Complete Protein for your storage

41. Some things take a ton of power to operate.

  • a. Fridge
  • b. Toaster
  • c. Freezer
  • d. Hot plate
  • e. Microwave

42. When it gets dark at 4:30pm, the nights are really long without power.
43. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi- warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
44. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
45. Things that disappeared are never to be seen again for a very long time.

  • a. Fuel, of all kinds
  • b. Matches, lighters of any kind, etc.
  • c. Toilet paper
  • d. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
  • e. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
  • f. Milk
  • g. Charcoal
  • h. Spark plugs (generators)
  • i. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
  • j. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
  • k. Extension cords
  • l. Medicines (Tylenol, advil, cold medicine, etc)

Parents, I particularly want you to read numbers 36 and 37, they rather say it all.  And in my experience, this does not change as they get older and it also applies to grandchildren.


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5 thoughts on “Lessons From Hurricane Sandy”

  1. The Sandy survivors may well become the best source of information for preppers and non-preppers. Please try to get more articles written by people who went through this storm and it’s aftermath.

  2. Matt in Oklahoma

    We packed up alot of supplies and sent them in to someone we know as a resupply or make help kits for others. We sent in candles, handwarmers, hand sanitizer, chemlights, battery operated alarms like you use at hotels, matches, lighters, socks, stocking caps, paper plates, plastic flatware, flashlights, batteries, paracord, medical supplies, a “stove in a can”, work gloves, canned/bagged LDS food etc.
    It was a good lesson for a new member of our family who didnt know what we should send to help folks in the cold and dark. She was able to think thru the problems and obtain ideas.
    The other thing she learned was the value of having help alot closer than across the country and the real meaning of a support network.

  3. My most informative observation from Sandy was listening whining people with a $40’000 Mercedes in the driveway, but they have no Generator. I may be a WestVirginia hillbilly with a 2000 model year pickup in the driveway, but I spent $9200 for a full turnkey system with service-panel rated 20Kw genset with 500 fuel tank, connected to flip the whole house with a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch, to provide seemless failover and run tendays ckntinulus duty withnoadjustmdnts to household activities. Now which of us is the “stupid White Boy”?

  4. Just reading the comments on Hurricane Sandy. Why don’t we learn from others. If Katrina, Andrew, and all the othe storms didn’t teach us anything…..what will it take? And when are we going to quit being a people that keeps looking for the government to take care of us. And haven’t we learned that the government does a terrible job of being our parent. I do not ever plan on standing in lines hoping to get water and an MRE. Perhaps we can never plan for many years of hard times, but shouldn’t we at least try.

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