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Citizens, local governments and the federal government alike were not prepared for the devastation because they used history as a template for future events.
The mantra leading up to a natural disaster, from local authorities and even from many experts is to stock up on candles, food, water and batteries and have enough for at least three days. The manual has not been updated to account for an antiquated infrastructure and power grids and it does not consider the financial conditions of cities and the country as a whole.
Emergency shelters are not stocked with food, water or other essentials while large generators sit idle due to maintenance problems. There is currently a debate in Washington DC as to whether or not to allocate funds for the cities and citizens affected by super storm sandy, this is months after the storm.
The following is a list of recommended supplies, tools and materials and it is not a comprehensive list. Store and operate your generator where it is protected from rising waters, rain, snow and other damaging conditions.
Never operate a generator in an enclosed area to include crawlspaces, garages, and carports or near any openings into the home.
It is recommended you have a generator capable of handling up to 7,000 watts of surge to ensure you can operate a refrigerator, heater or water pump at the same time.
Have all-important documentation concerning your house or apartment packed protecting them from water and other damage and where they can be can be carried with you even if you have to evacuate to a shelter.


Know where all emergency shelters are located in your area and know the evacuation routes out of your area.
Follow all mandatory evacuation orders because if you fail to leave you may be trapped and emergency responders may not be able to reach you. The most recent super storm that ripped along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States left death and destruction in its wake. Many cities and communities are struggling financially and this plays a role in recovery efforts.
The ad hoc repairs always seem to be just enough to get a city or community to the next disaster.
The number of items you might possibly need would fill several garages so you have to prioritize and realize that if you currently live in an apartment or house you will already have many of the essentials needed.
Obviously if your area is susceptible to a storm surge or heavy flooding it is assumed you will evacuate but otherwise rivers and streams may cause a few inches or feet of water to be present and equipment must be above the floodwaters. Use the proper gauge extension cords and if you have a standby automatic generator make sure, the local power company is aware you have one. Remember that law enforcement will be stretched thin and response times will be prolonged so consider home defense when preparing for an emergency. The storm has also shown that politics and bureaucracy played a role in the reaction time and recovery efforts of the government.


In other words, the government assumes they will have boots on the ground within three days of a disaster. The super storm was not categorized as a hurricane because it was not considered hurricane strength. The take away from all this is that you as a citizen may very well be on your own for days, weeks or even longer in the event of a natural disaster. This of course is no longer true and has been proven such from recent and not so recent events. The items are not disaster specific because you will need most of the supplies, tools and materials during any crisis. You may very well be at work when disaster strikes and you need to know where your children will be located and how to pick them up.



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