Sandy Survivor Shares Tips for Weathering Disaster Aftermath
I live in Jackson, N.J., about 10 miles inland, and did not get the devastating storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. And yet, I have never experienced such a catastrophic weather event.
High winds brought down thousands of trees, taking out power lines and crashing into homes. The destruction here is something I never imagined I would see.
The Mantoloking Bridge, where the sea came into the bay, is where I crab all summer. It’s now crumpled in the water, surrounded by flooded homes. It’s heartbreaking to see images of the place you love destroyed.
Since most homes did not have power or internet immediately after the storm, we did not get to see the images of ravaged iconic Jersey Shore towns like Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Manasquan, Mantoloking, Atlantic City and Asbury Park. Local residents are shocked at the extent of the devastation revealed in newspaper photos. Entire shore towns are gone; there is nothing left.
People are starting to lose it by the day; they’ve never gone so long without power. People in New York are eating from Dumpsters. The lines for gas, if you can find it, are miles long. A few more days like this and I worry civilization will start to break down.
Thankfully, my family is OK. I’m nutty about preparation, so we have everything we need. It is so important to be prepared for disaster.
Since I had a generator and plenty of fuel, the loss of power was tolerable. I was able to run my refrigerator and freezer, charge my cell phone and iPad, light my house and watch DVDs on the flat screen. The biggest complaint from those without generators has been boredom.
My 4G iPad was a lifesaver. I was able to tune into local radio stations and keep up with the news; view pictures and videos of the devastation; and play games to pass the time.
Water is worth its weight in gold during a crisis, you can never have too much. Canned food, candles, flashlights and batteries are other must-have prep items.
It is very difficult to get gasoline as many stations have no power or have not had any gas delivered. There are mile-long lines at the stations that do have power and gas. The traffic around them is incredible — it’s a wild scene!
Why did so many people have so little gas that they would line up for hours to fill their tank? Because they did not prepare for the major disaster that had been forecast for the greater part of a week. My three cars are all full because I filled up BEFORE the storm.
The Jersey Shore will come back, but it will take a very long time. I feel a profound sadness seeing the beautiful shore destroyed and witnessing the suffering of those who have lost everything.
Please use this tragedy to prepare your family for disaster natural or man made. The best investment you can make is a generator. Buy one BEFORE a crisis hits.
By: Louis Scatigna
About Louis Scatigna
Louis Scatigna is a Certified Financial Planner, national radio talk show host and author of The Financial Physician: How To Cure Your Money Problems and Boost Your Financial Health (www.thefinancialphysician.com). Lou is a regular guest on both national and local television programs and has been quoted in hundreds of publications and Web sites. He also provides additional comments and advice on his daily blog.