Are We Prepared For A Major Storm? l Aaron Neuman

The storm that hit New Jersey last Monday evening knocked out power to over 16,000 Lakewood homes and businesses and caused well over $1 million in damages.

Many slept (or tried to sleep) through the night in discomfort as lack of power kept their air conditioning off. Multiple roads and thoroughfares were blocked off by downed trees and power lines, as municipal and power services worked overtime to get everything back to normal. All in all, the storm and its consequences were the worst since Superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast in 2012.

The storm should raise some serious questions. We are used to average weather and we prepare for average weather. But what if a huge storm came along? Are we prepared for that? When Sandy roared into town, most of us were out of power for over a week. During that time, people had to make due with the bare necessities. This writer slept with several blankets to stay warm and we had stocked up on food and disposable grills before the storm so we could make meals.

But what if there were a truly calamitous crisis? Power, gas and transportation could be knocked out for weeks. Call this fear-mongering, but it is a possibility and one that we should be prepared for.

It is easy not to plan. We baruch hashem live mostly stable lives, where we can assume that food, water and electricity will always be readily available. It’s something that is by now taken completely for granted, and why not? Modern society has proven that it’s able to keep the lights on consistently.

This is all fine and dandy… until it isn’t. If a crisis were to ch”v unfold, we would be taken completely unprepared. So what should be done? A few things.

For starters, every home should have at least 2 weeks worth of water in storage, available in case of emergency. A week’s worth of nonperishable foods should also be stored away. These are just simple, basic things that nobody should have a difficult time doing.

We tend to act in ways that conform with what we are used to experiencing. If crises occurred all the time, everyone would make sure they were always prepared for another one to come along. Baruch Hashem, we live in a relatively stable society, and that’s something we need to be thankful for on a daily basis.

But nor should we ignore that something can go wrong. We don’t need to be panicking about ‘what-if’s’ all day, but preparing for a possibility cannot and should not be ignored.

If you have anything to add regarding ways people can prepare for if something goes wrong, please include it in the comments section.

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  1. If you have a water heater, that’s an automatic emergency supply of water than can be used in case the water supply is disrupted. 50-75 gallons go a long way.

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