Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lessons Learned from Superstorm Sandy

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of your wings
I will take refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
Psalm 57:1-2 NKJV

It's so amazing how the Bible still applies to us today : )  Our calamities change with the generations, but God's Word is still active (Hebrews 4:12).

The east coast of the USA, has had an intense few weeks.  We came through the storm just fine, with no damage.   Not everyone did.  There were many losses along the New Jersey and New York shores.  People learned to pull together in new ways.

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up those without power to You.  I pray You will step into the center of the problems and help them get heat for their homes.  Where there is confusion and politics let there be a single focus, to save lives.  Where there is fear bring peace and hope.  Let Your love and amazing compassion be known to all.  Let them know of Your presence.  Renew the spirits of those who are working so hard to help out.  Guide the homeless to safety, through this frightening journey.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

After the storm

In my last post I mentioned the wooden cross in Ocean Grove.  The video below is a bike tour right after the storm.  The wooden cross was replaced by a metal pipe cross.  It goes by quickly but you can see it.
Ocean Grove Boardwalk Bike Ride After Superstorm Sandy (Youtube)

Last year I did a photo shoot through Ocean Grove before the storm.  I wrote about it in my photo blog, if you'd like to see it before the storm.  It also tells the story of this Christian community.  I did the blog posts in reverse order wasn't sure how to do it properly on a blog...
Ocean Grove before Superstorm Sandy (link to my photo blog)

I realize most countries and states are more experienced with major storms than we are.  I'm writing some of my lessons learned in case someone else can use them.  I am a new storm survivor.  We did have Hurricane Irene last year.  If anyone has other ideas please feel free to share them.

My Lessons Learned (the hard way...)
  1. I put a tablecloth on the coffee table and made it our station for candles, the radio, flashlights, matches, my Kindle (has the Bible in it)...   We got to use our gigantic wedding candle!  I put all the breakables on the washing machine (knew we wouldn't be using it for awhile).  It worked out well, we knew what to bump into to get a flashlight.
  2. If you don't have a generator, get one in an off season.  They are less expensive and more available.
  3. It takes gasoline to operate a generator.  In our case, it was hard to get into the state after the storm.  We ran out of gas...  So, we could only run the generator until it ran out of gas.
  4. My neighbor suggested boiling large pans of water on the gas stove (if you can) for heat.  It worked really well.  Use common sense:  don't leave the house or go to sleep with the stove on.  Gas isn't our friend.
  5. The generator wasn't on long enough to save our food in the refrigerator.  I learned that you can fill all the tupperware bowls (or a large pan) with water and freeze them.  Put them in the refrigerator when the power goes out, the food will last.
  6. Check trees around the house before a storm.  If any are damaged or leaning, it's wise to take them down.  Trees caused the majority of damage in towns not on the Jersey shore.  
  7. Make sure everyone's thermal underwear, hats, gloves, coats, etc. are in a place you can find them.  It's really hard to find things when the power goes out : )
  8. Keep a stock of canned goods.  Canned goods are great.  I could heat up some stew or ravioli on the gas stove in a pan.  They can also be cooked on a fire.  Stock up before a storm is announced.
  9. Buy fruit that doesn't need to be refrigerated.  Bananas and apples are great to help with the nutritional value of canned food.  Maybe raisins and dried fruit too.  (I'm not an expert on this...)
  10. Make sure everyone in the state knows what the law is when the traffic lights go out.  People had their own interpretation in New Jersey.  Some stopped and some hit the gas pedal, "Free at last!"  Unfortunately, we had lots of accidents on top of the storm recovery.  I stopped at a dark traffic light, only to see the woman in the opposite lanes get rear-ended.  The police and fire department had way too much to deal with.  It kept them from helping storm victims.
  11. Cats make great lap warmers.  Our 20 lb. cat sat on my lap and it was like an electric blanket : )
  12. Keep a good stock of batteries in the house for the radio, flashlights, lanterns, cell phone charging.  Make a list of what you need and buy them before the storm is announced. You can still purchase Boom boxes that play CDs, the radio, cassettes and run on batteries : )  I may be the only one in the world, who's thrilled about this!
  13. It was really nice not watching TV.  We missed a lot of campaign ads.  Yes!!!  Got to know my hubby again.  I married a good guy.
Feel free to comment if you like : )


  1. Wonderful prayer. Good advice. What really jumped out at me? A 20# cat. Really. Yikes.

  2. Yup Jake is 20 lbs! The Vet said he eats way too much. We try and limit his food but it's his favorite thing to do lol. Can't stop him. Thanks MC!

  3. Those are all good morsels of advice.

    You are now an expert, storm survivor!

    Living in a forest with cold and windy weather much of the time, I know about trees and generators, LOL!
    I will never own an electric cook stove...gas is way better!

    We use a lot of 'coleman' products, and not just for camping.

    20 lb. cat? #@!! I thought you had 2 cats?...maybe just the one HUGE one?

    ~God Bless~ Lisa

  4. Thanks Lisa- you'd know more about this stuff than I do. Was raised in Southern California : ) Yup just one is 20 lbs the other is much smaller. He runs around a lot : ) The other likes to vegetate...

  5. Hi Karen,
    Lots of good advice here. It does not hurt to be prepared at all times, just in case.
    God bless,

  6. Thanks Ken! You really never know when a bad storm will come and the minute it's announced on the News, everyone runs to the Grocery Store... Batteries and canned food were in short supply by the time we got there. But God provided our needs. We had just enough.
    God bless!