Friday, August 26, 2011

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

Assuming you are going to ride out the hurricane without evacuating, here is a 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.

(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 -- $4.99 at CVS, $9.99 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.

More Here:
- Hurricane Irene Prompts Hazardous Weather Outlook In Brooklyn, New York City
- Hurricane Irene: Storm Surge Probabilities Increasing for Brooklyn

Photo by Jeff Keen, Creative Commons license 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


chickenunderwear said...

reading your blog actually made me stop what I was doing and buy a case of water.

mcbrooklyn said...

Good man.

Anonymous said...

Actually, your suggestion of condoms made me rethink weekend plans. Don't want no hurricane babies!

bj said...

Condoms selling out all over Brooklyn!!!

Anonymous said...

Good list, thanks for this. Duct tape won't save the windows though, so you can remove that from the list. You should also freeze some items like milk so they will last longer if the power goes.

chickenunderwear said...

Duck tape makes it easier to find the shards of glass.

Anonymous said...

Duct tape works if the store sells out of condoms, but you might find shards on the duct tape once removal is attempted.

Anonymous said...

heh heh

Anonymous said...

You can cook over a BBQ grill but make sure not to use charcoal inside an enclosed space. Something about the fumes killing you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you'd need to buy water if you live below the 6th floor. NYC water arrives that high by gravity. Can anyone explain?

Anonymous said...

Contamination of the water is the main concern. There is no filtration of the water in NYC and in heavy rains, the reservoirs and rivers will likely mix with stuff you may not want to ingest.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I've been wondering about the water issue.

Anonymous said...

All else fails you can use bleach to sterilize water: Add 8 drops of regular bleach (not scented or Clorox Plus bleaches) to one gallon of water (2 drops to 1 quart). For cloudy water, use 16 drops per gallon of water (4 drops to 1 quart).

Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Water should have a slight bleach odor. If not, repeat and wait another 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times.

More here: