Everyone who paid attention to any sort of media knows the east coast was recently slammed by Hurricane Sandy and is still recovering.

New York temporarily lost use of the subway  system and Rhode Island had water overflowing into the streets near Narragansett Beach.

At last count, according CBS, Hurricane Sandy caused between $30 to $50 billion in damage and killed over 110 people in the United States, and over 179 people in total.

A lot of people don’t have power and some towns haven’t had school for almost a week. Despite how bad the damage was, without the amount of preparation and organization that was put in, the destruction could have been much worse.

In preparation for the storm, many areas were evacuated and emergency precautions were made. If not for the emergency evacuation of areas, the death toll could be well into the hundreds.

Evacuated areas included parts of New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware, all of which had areas hit extremely hard by Hurricane Sandy.

New Jersey got hit exceptionally hard; some of the images from the aftermath include streets flooded up to resident’s chests.

Paying attention to the evacuations mandated for an area can make a big difference to one’s survival in an emergency situation, not just a hurricane.

Another important preparation for any kind of disaster is the stockpiling of water, food and light sources. Sandy proved power can be easily lost and may continue to be out for an unknown period of time. With Hurricane Irene last year, there were areas in Rhode Island that didn’t have power for a week after the last rainfall.

As many as seven million people are still without power after Sandy hit the coast. If you don’t have candles or flashlights (and batteries) after losing power for so long, that could mean up to a week without any form of light during the night. People may also lose water and heating, which can be dangerous especially during the winter, so making sure you have blankets and jackets will make a big difference.

Many businesses near the coast knew they were going to be hit hard by rising ocean tides, and that they would potentially lose their business and property completely.

They took precautions by boarding up the windows and doors, and removing some of the more sensitive materials from the building. There is a restaurant in Narragansett, R.I. called “The Coast Guard House,” located on Ocean Road; the road is completely flooded.

My family still lives in Rhode Island, and apparently after the storm there was silverware located all along Ocean Road. The storm flooded through the restaurant and washed out tables and silverware. Many people saw a picture originating from Milford, Conn. of a residential street with a trampoline strung up in power lines. For a trampoline to move from its spot in a residential yard, the winds must have been heavy.

The news reports during the storm showed winds up to 90 miles per hour in certain areas.

This is extremely dangerous, not only because of flying rubble and objects, but also because of the potential of taking down power lines.

Reinforce all doors and windows in case of potential hurricanes in order to ensure you don’t take excessive amounts of damage.

In an emergency situation, no matter the level of stress or concern, staying calm and preempting any potential threats can make sure that you escape with minimal damage.

Except for the most dire situations, most damage and injury can be avoided with proper preparation.


David Padrazo can be contacted at


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