A reader who went through Hurricane Katrina sent us nine helpful tips to make your post-Hurricane life a bit easier. If Sandy has left you blacked out, flooded out, or stressed out, you may find these useful:
1. Take the tape off your window NOW. The longer it is up, the harder it is to peel off.
2. An unopened half full freezer stays cold 24 hours. A full one is good for 48 hours. Time to clean it out. Your fridge is already a lost cause. Don’t wait. It gets grosser the longer it sits.
3. Put food waste in smaller, sealed bags because garbage collection can be spotty.
4. If tap water isn’t safe for you to drink, it isn’t safe for your pets… unless you like cleaning up doggie diarrhea.
5. You can shower in “boil-notice” water, but do not take a bath and do not submerge your ears. You can get ear infections.
6. If you are in a flooded area, remove all wet items (boots, socks, pants) before entering your home so you do not contaminate your apartment. If you must go inside to do this (smart move if you are planning on removing your pants) have a tarp or garbage bag set up at your entry way. Tracking through water spots from your gear will bring gas, sewage, and whatever else is in the water all over your home.
7. A flashlight pointed up at the ceiling will give you a lot more light than a candle. Also, ditch the pretty votive candle holders. They block light.
8. Call up your credit card companies, student loans, mortgage and loan holders, utilities, etc., and ask for an extension if it is close to your payment time. Most will be forgiving.
9. If you feel panicky and are at the end of your rope, find a place with electricity. If you have a car, go sit in it with the air and radio running for a few minutes. No car? Find a store that has generators set up or a part of town with power. Having lights and sounds around you even for 15 minutes will make you feel a little more normal.
[Thanks to Emily Shepard, Photo via Getty]