Preparing Your Family for the Next Hurricane

By Estelle Sobel Erasmus

I recall the events of a year ago like it was just today. We got my daughter home from preschool early, because a storm was raging outside. A storm that quickly became a hurricane. Hurricane Sandy.

For some reason, I had just filled up my gas tank a few days earlier, because we went to an early Halloween party several miles away from us. I had also just done all my laundry, even though I usually do it every other week. We had a full refrigerator. We’d even gone out to buy condo insurance to make sure that if anything did happen we’d at least be able to get back on our feet.

First the power went out. My husband rushed home from work when I called, a pizza in his hands. He said the place was overrun with anxious customers. Then, I wasn’t able to find my parents who live in the same town (they didn’t use cell phones at the time). As the storm raged, my husband located a battery-powered radio and we hunkered down to listen to the havoc outside. The neighbors in our building also gathered together in the hallways and we made friends while basking in the heat provided by the generators. We also had flashlights (I said no to candles) and I also had my daughter put on her light-up shoes. I used my phone to stay in touch with friends on Facebook, which became a huge source of great information during the trying weeks ahead.

We were ok. I worried all night that a tree would come flying through our windows, and kept an ever-vigilant watch while my daughter slept peacefully in the bed between us (I wouldn’t have it any other way for that one night. The first night). It goes without saying that there was widespread damage. We got off comparatively lightly as our guttering took a hit, showing some signs of damage and clogged with debris. We ended up using a service similar to Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Tampa in order to restore the guttering so that it would not become a great problem in the long run.

Others had a bad time of it. A tragic time of it. That’s why I am sharing the news about the Save the Children’s Emergency Preparedness Campaign called Get Ready, Get Safe

Here is a video, showing Hurricane Sandy’s ongoing impact on children. The video and other resources such as checklists (for families and caregivers) can be found here: and

Here is more information from the campaign, Get Ready, Get Safe.

Everyone needs to check out this infographic and share it. Even better, contact your child’s school or your local church or temple and find out if it has an emergency preparedness plan. If not, suggest one!

Thank you to the PANJ4Good Team for the information covered on this post. I did not receive any compensation for writing this; I’m doing it to spread the word to help families, because I believe it’s important to prepare for these situations.

What helped you and your family get through Hurricane Sandy?


16 thoughts on “Preparing Your Family for the Next Hurricane”

    1. Sandra,
      I’m so happy that this post has helped you to be aware of what you need to do to prepare for the a disaster.

  1. Good post, Estelle…this is something I think about…and say “oh I should have a disaster-ready’ kit…but have not done anything about it. This may be the kick that I need…thank you!!

    1. Elissa,
      After the hurricane last year I went out and got tons of cans of chili-that can last a while and an old fashioned can opener. I wanted to get a survival kit-still may but we do have the essentials.
      Glad it helped.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information! We didn’t lose power through the storm, I cannot imagine that feeling. It is so important to be prepared…

    1. Hi Lauryn,
      We lost power for about 5 days, and my parents lost it for about 10 days. They ended up coming to stay with us (they didn’t even have hot water, but we did). Others suffered much worse. With these nice temperatures we forget how awful it was; and might be again without preparation.

  3. So important to get this type of information out there. It’s tough to think there could be another storm as awful as Sandy, but who knows? It’s always wise to never say never and know what to do…just in case.

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      I think the experts say there will definitely be other events like this, and the question is not if but when. So we must all be prepared for the next time…

  4. We don’t live in Jersey, but as ex-New Yorkers we’ve been through a few hurricanes, power outages and crippling blizzards. These are great tips to be prepared no matter what happens so that you can be safe wherever you need to be.

    1. Hi Gina,
      It’s crazy how now I think of this time as “Hurricane Season”. Ah well, if everyone prepares a head of time they will be ready when a natural disaster happens.

  5. We tend to not think of the emotional damage, especially to children, that can last a long time after a disaster if not addressed. I am glad Save the Children has launched this campaign to make us all more aware. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

    1. Hi Helene,
      Yes, I’m proud to sharing the news of this campaign. If it can help prepare just one family (and hopefully even more) than it’s worth it.

  6. Great post, Estelle! Really brought the events of Sandy back vividly. Hard to believe it’s already been a year since the storm surge hit and swept away so many hopes and dreams.

    1. Thanks so much Kathy. Yes, it’s amazing how much can happen in a year. I still refer to this time as “Hurricane Season.”

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