Old Storm, Great Information

October 2002.  Hurricane Sandy (later downgraded to Superstorm Sandy) slammed most of the East Coast, traveling across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and north, up the Eastern Seaboard to Canada.  Sandy killed several people and left $65 billion in damages in the United States alone.  Shortly afterward, an email came my way of one man’s experience with Sandy.

Following are highlights of his observations:

  1. The excitement, novelty and “coolness” wears off after day three.
  2. You are never really prepared to go weeks without electricity, water or heat.  Never!
  3. Just because your generator is running like a top does not mean it is producing electricity.
  4. If you do not have water stored up, you are in trouble!  A couple of cases of bottled water is not water storage.
  5. Even the smallest little thing you get from the store should be stocked up.  Things like an extra spark plug for the generator, barbecue lighter, batteries or matches.
  6. It is surprising how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window.  Three people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of here.  I didn’t say three fights broke out, three people were killed!
  7. Cash is king.  All the money in your savings account does you absolutely no good.
  8. You eat a lot more food when you are cold.  You also need more food than you think when your kids are out of school for two weeks.
  9. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
  10. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to an electrical panel or you the guy whose Masters degree in accounting suddenly means nothing.
  11. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candlelight over the barbecue or an open fire is worth her weight in gold.
  12. All the stored food in the world is useless if your kids won’t eat it.
  13. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start showing up at your door?
  14. You really do not want to be the “unprepared parents,”  the kids turn on you pretty quick.
  15. There was a strange peace knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.
  16. Some people totally shut down in an emergency, there’s nothing you can do about that.
  17. Your town, no matter how small, is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.  If supply trucks stop rolling due to road damage, fuel shortages or for any reason, you could be without for a very long time.

    Food for thought.  Your questions and comments are always welcome at  For previous columns check out my blog at  Dave Robinson is an author, pastor and freelance writer.  His book, “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” is available on, and other online booksellers.