Post-Sandy Disaster Planning
How will you and your staff and patrons cope during and after a major weather event? Price gouging and panic buying all contribute to the detrimental effects of a disaster and anxiety over a potential disaster.
In Rhode Island, as soon as there is a storm approaching or the threat of a storm approaching - hurricane – tropical – or snow – the local population typically goes out and buys all of the bread and milk out off the store shelves. They also buy up loads of bottled water and batteries.
When the power goes out, what are they going to do with all of that milk? Batteries eventually discharge. Bottled water is not environmentally friendly, can cost 500 times as much as tap water and may even be very low quality. If water service is interrupted and a water buffalo is all that is available – refilling bottles for daily needs is ineffective.
Rhode Island - with the exception of the south-west coastal area - was very lucky during Sandy compared to New Jersey and NYC. We were spared much of the rain and our storm surge was less. After going through many potential and real weather emergencies in Rhode Island and coastal North Carolina, I was determined not to be price gouged or ill-prepared for weather. Rather than scurry around trying to find items in high demand, I decided to put together a few items that can bring relative comfort when your infrastructure is compromised. It takes me about 10 minutes to get ready for an infrastructure disaster. Here is my short list:
Coleman Expandable Water Carrier http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Expandable-Water-Carrier-5-Gallon/dp/B000088O9Y- because your own tap water is much cheaper than bottled water and you can flatten out this jug and store it anywhere – you can also refill it from available water supplies efficiently – such as with a Water Buffalo deployed by the National Guard.
Portable Butane Gas Stove http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Butane-Stove-With-GASONE/dp/B001V72U36 – this will boil water – cook a skillet of food fast and is highly portable – a cartridge of butane lasts for a long time
Solar Led Lamps - http://www.amazon.com/d-light-S10-Solar-LED-Lantern/dp/B004B924OG/ – cheap, bright effective lighting
Hand Crank Radio - http://www.amazon.com/Ambient-Weather-Emergency-Flashlight-Certified/dp/B0071BTJPI/ – stay connected – recharge your cell-phones – even though you might not have service from damaged cell towers
Coffee Pot - http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-14-Cup-Enamelware-Coffee-Percolator/dp/B0009PUQI2 – boil water, make coffee, keep alert, stay happy!