Friday, October 26, 2012

Things You Need To Buy Before Hurricane Sandy Hits Brooklyn / New York City

Photo: Jeff Keen
Last year during a previous hurricane, McBrooklyn published this list of things you should have in your house or apartment to survive comfortably for a couple of days, even if the power goes out.

As Hurricane Sandy / the Frankenstorm approaches, we're reprinting it with some updates here. Make sure to check last year's comments for instructions on how to disinfect drinking water with bleach and other great advice.

(Note: This is NOT a "Go Bag." This is a stay at home shopping list. If you are in an evacuation zone, you had better get your Go Bag ready now.)

Hurricane Shopping List:

- Cash: Get enough cash for a few days' needs. Break it into smaller denominations. (Remember the last time the power went out none of the ATMs worked?)

- Basics electronics: Flashlight, transistor radio, batteries. Here in Brooklyn, many drug stores and major groceries have already sold out of several sizes of batteries -- go to little bodegas and oddball stores to find them.

- Duct tape. (To tape big "Xs" on your windows facing the wind so they won't shatter, and to tape plastic sheeting or hefty bags over the ones that break.) Don't do this. We still haven't gotten the tape residue off the windows -- a year after the hurricane.

- Water: Fill up jugs with water, or buy a 24-pack of Poland Springs drinking-size bottled water -- $9.99 $6.99 for now at Gristedes. Get some individual juices if you like them. (Fill up your bathtub for water to flush the toilet. You'll need a bucket or plastic garbage can for this.)

- Food*: Granola and protein bars, nuts, a box of crackers, cans of tuna fish or other protein (after your mayo goes bad pour in a little oil), fresh peaches and apples, dried fruit, single serving canned fruit. Want hot food? Buy a couple of cans of Sterno (you'll need matches!) and some canned food or dry packaged meals and soup. If you like cereal make sure to buy powered or canned milk or Parmalat. Get some cookies and snacks. Buy paper plates, cups and utensils (there may be no water to wash dishes).  Make sure you have a manual can opener.

*(You're going to eat this stuff after you have first eaten the food in your refrigerator that will spoil within a few hours. To keep items cooler longer, avoid opening the fridge unless absolutely necessary.)

- Pet food! Kitty litter!

- Important Meds: Aspirin, prescriptions and anti-diarrhea medicine. Hand sanitizer. Rubbing alcohol. Contact lens solution. Toilet paper, paper towels, tissues. Feminine supplies. Condoms. Baby wipes to wash up if the water stops.

- Baby Things: Diapers, baby meds and formula, baby food. (Again, baby wipes to keep them clean if no water is available for baths.)

- Communications: Charge your cell phone and other electronic gear. If circuits are busy send text messages, which will go through if any cell towers are working, even if voice doesn't. If the power is out altogether, standard landline phones, which run on the power running through the phone wires, usually work.

- Misc.: A book to read. An itty-bitty book light.

NOTE: Electric stoves won't work in a power failure. Gas stoves with a pilot light work even if the electricity goes out, but the newer gas stoves have an electric igniter and they won't work. You may be able to manually light them with a match, however. has much more information about preparing for a hurricane emergency.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Chicken Underwear said...

I still got all that stuff from the last storm.

bj said...

Soup is nice if you have Sterno.

Anonymous said...

lol @ kitty litter

Anonymous said...

OMG I forgot the litter