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Sunday, December 16, 2012

10 Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Original Article

Here's a quick wrap-up of lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy:

  1. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere.  You would have expected a hurricane to demolish part of Florida, not part of New York, but it happened.
  2. When told to evacuate, evacuate.  Attempting to "ride out" a disaster because you are prepared and tough enough to do so is dumb when you are given enough notice to evacuate and ensure you and your family's safety.
  3. Some people who were killed during Hurricane Sandy died from trees falling on them.  During a disaster, it may not be the actual disaster (hurricane) that can kill you but the side affects of the disaster (falling trees and debris, downed power lines, etc).
  4. Some people decided not to evacuate thinking that they could survive a hurricane.  What they didn't count on was the fires and gas leaks that came afterwards.
  5. The things that will be missing/hard to find/impossible to get after a disaster: electricity (8 million + people were without electricity after the storm), clean water (wells and municiple water systems were impacted by the flooding), food (most stores are closed or damaged beyond repair in some neighborhoods), gasoline (lines for gas are extensive today), transportation (it will take a while for the subway system to start working again and yesterday the roads were in gridlock).
  6. Sometimes your best preparations,  like back-up generators, won't work and then you have a crisis (two hospitals had to be evacuated during and after the storm because their back-up generators failed).
  7. Don't underestimate the power of water.  A mother was carrying her two children through a flooded area when they were washed right out of her arms by a wave of water.  Rushing water that is more than ankle deep can carry you away in a heartbeat.
  8. Use common sense.  A boat captain decided to head straight into the storm (two people ended up dead, 14 others needed to be rescued), a father and son were killed in their flooding basement (if you are inland during a hurricane the basement may be the safest place to be, if you are in a flood-prone area you should seek shelter in an interior room on your main or second floor).
  9. The technology we have come to depend on may be wiped out during a disaster.
  10. As in many disasters, people do tend to come together to help each other out afterwards.