Crisis management advice to protect you from dangerous conditions
With nearly one million people still without power, not to mention the countless displaced by storm damage or flooding from Hurricane Sandy, virtually the entire East Coast is in crisis management mode. Compounding the situation is a wicked nor’easter that’s just entered the area, bringing new loads of snow and heavy winds that are sure to worsen the situation.
Many are still fending for themselves in this extremely harsh environment, but experts across the ‘net have extended a hand and offered up their very best advice for making it through. Here is just a small sample from an excellent list of tips written by Disaster Prep 101’s Paul Purcell:
- Protection from the elements. Late-season hurricanes in the northeast mean folks are without power, and sometimes without windows, roofs, walls, doors, or insulation. If your house is habitable, keep what doors and windows you have closed, and seal seams with plastic sheets (think shower curtains) and any kind of tape you have. Simply cutting down on wind works wonders with keeping warm.
- Water. Do NOT try to purify flood waters or any standing water in your area regardless of the claims made on any filter you may have. Flood water is some nasty stuff. Use a clean plastic sheet to catch some rain water if any rain is predicted. Also if a home’s hot water tank was above surge or flood levels, the water in it may be safe to drink. This also holds true for toilet tanks in upstairs bathrooms provided there is no “bowl cleaner” product used.
- Heat. At night, stay in groups if possible both for warmth and security (a little looting in some areas already). DO NOT HEAT WITH CHARCOAL INDOORS! Charcoal is a big carbon monoxide producer and is dangerous indoors. If safe to do so, use wood from your damaged home to build a small fire outside and a safe distance from flammable material (after listening and smelling for gas leaks). Use this small fire for cooking, heating as you’re gathered around it, and for heating water for hot water bottles to stay warm at night. Do not heat an indoor area with steam. Steam will moisten everything and everyone making things that much colder when the heat wears off.
The ‘net and social media especially are absolutely full of information aimed at getting folks through the storm, let’s do our best to share them with everyone we can as we keep those on the East Coast in our thoughts.
If you’re not affected this time around, it doesn’t mean you won’t be the next. Know the dangers in your area, and take advantage of the resources out there to get prepared before disaster strikes.
The BCM Blogging Team