Tips to prepare for a natural disaster

With the east coast preparing for what experts say could be a disastrous hybrid storm when three systems collide over the tristate area, it’s important for residents to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Create a disaster plan or test your current one: Consider what important belongings you will take with you in the event of an emergency evacuation. This also includes a plan for pets that may not be allowed in shelters!!

Stock up on necessities: FEMA recommends people should have a bare minimum of a three-day supply of water — which means one gallon of water per person for each day. According to FEMA, a relatively active person needs at least a half gallon of water each day just for drinking, but children, nursing mothers and sick people may require more than that.

Make sure you have food: Stock up on non-perishables and prepare some things in advance that you can cover and eat in a pinch. Also make sure you have a can opener to get into those non-perishables!

Have an emergency survival kit: In the event your area is evacuated, you should have a bag packed with things like: medications and medical supplies, identification, cash, batteries, a flashlight, snacks, personal hygiene items and anything else you need on a daily basis.

Prepare for phone interruptions: Since landlines are becoming scarce these days, it’s important for those who rely on cell phones to remember that cell phone towers could be damaged in high winds.

Anticipate power outages: Electric companies in most states on the east coast have been preparing as much as possible for Hurricane Sandy, but there’s only so much they can do. Be sure to charge your electronic devices beforehand and use them sparingly.