Monday, November 5, 2012

RIP - Restoration in Progress

I want to apologize for not being as upbeat as usual.  I know you have seen the devastation from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the news.  

Although I was among the fortunate ones, I feel very badly for those who lost their lives, family members, pets, homes, cars, are still without power.  In my mind no power is  horrible  to endure, especially with colder weather.  I couldn't last more than three days (I know because it happened to me in March 2010) and I would be in a straight jacket.  Not kidding.

Grounds of the Alice Austen Museum

Staten Island is all of 102.5 square miles.  It is 13.9 miles long by 7.3 miles wide.  And packed on this little island are close to 500,000 people.  Things are being restored here.  Power coming back to 70 percent of those who lost it.  Transportation slowly getting commuters to their jobs.  

Store shelves getting restocked.  As gas stations regain the power and start getting deliveries, people are filling their tanks.  

The tragedy of the 40+ deaths in NYC is that most of those who perished did not or could not evacuate their homes.  I can understand this.  If you don't have family or close friends to offer you a place to stay, you really have no option but to go to a shelter or ride it out and hope for the best.  

There were three children that I know of who perished.  But many were folks 60 and over.  The homes they lived in were passed down from one generation to the next.  They were living in the same houses where they were born.  They had bad experiences with evacuating last summer when Hurricane Irene hit, due to looters.  (I have a very strong opinion on looters, but that would be a whole other post.)

Another blogger did a post about lessons learned.  I learned a lot from previous storms where I barely had a flashlight.  My words of advice would be:

Listen to what the news reports are saying.  Yes, there is sensationalism, but better to be overly cautious.  We had 5 days to prepare as best we could for this.  Sandy was a powerful adversary and how can one fully prepare for a 13.2 foot wall of water that went in for 8 city blocks?  I shopped, stocked, got gas, on Saturday.  And prayed.  A lot.  Storm was here in full force Monday night but miserable weather started Sunday night.  

If you live in a flood prone area, "Zone A", and police are riding around with megaphones advising you to evacuate, you need to get out!  Especially with kids.

Your basement is not the safest place in a hurricane.  People were trapped in their basements and drowned.

Don't stock the fridge, stock the pantry with canned goods and a manual can opener.  Battery operated radio, lanterns are better than flashlights.  Sleeping bags that protect from temps 20 degrees or lower.  I am going to buy one.

I know people who had no water.  Toilets would not flush.  Buy all the bottled water you can.  And fill your bathtub.  Use a small bucket to get water from the tub to flush.

Have a bag packed with clean undies, socks, prescription meds, pet supplies, if you have a pet, protein bars, some bottled water and a flashlight or lantern with extra batteries.

Generators are good but scare me too much.  I could not handle one myself.  But a good thing to have when properly set up.  

I am looking into getting a gas powered fire place installed.  I know people with no power for days that were kept toasty warm.  If this is an option, explore it!  I would prefer a wood burning one like I had in my previous home, but that is not possible where I live now.  

I am impressed with so many people who mobilized to collect supplies and bring them to the hard hit areas.  Not just locally but from across the country.  Crews to help with the power outages as far as away as Canada.   A neighbor here was going door to door asking for donations of canned goods, blankets, etc.  I gave her what I could.  People are cooking and sending food to those areas.  One of the high schools on Staten Island has close to 80 pets that were rescued.  I give my heartfelt thanks to all.

There are still lots of good people in this world.  And together we will survive.  



  1. Powerful good words of advice, Barbara. What you said about a gas fireplace made me take note. Amen to that. May each day be getting better!

  2. Your advice is excellent; because of earthquakes we keep water, canned food, battery powered radio, etc. on hand, out here in California. My heart goes out to the folks impacted by Sandy and we sent a check to the Red Cross a month ago, good timing.

  3. Barbara, this is such a good post with excellent advice and information. It's so sad to hear that people drowned in their basements. That's where we normally go for tornado warnings, but that's a different situation.

    Please tell me the Alice Austen House didn't get destroyed. I saw the pic of the gardens; isn't that where you took your photography classes? Such a charming, historical place.

    I'm very glad that you're okay, and I'm so sorry for everyone who has had irreplaceable losses. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. My husband said last night that our local NC power company, Duke Power, is up there helping out.

    Take care!

    Denise at Forest Manor

  4. Barbara - Thanks for a very timely and informative post. Those are all good hints. We basically do the same things only we're preparing for tornados.

    Glad you are safe and sound.


  5. Dear Barbara, your post is very good. I pray for all the unfortunate american people and i hope that everything will come back normal as soon as possible.

  6. Thank you for this wonderful post! I too feel very sad for the people and animals that were hurt by the storm. I wondered about their preparedness too. I grew up on a farm in a very rural area, we grew up prepared! I am sure many people just couldn't imagine that anything would really happen to them. The HSUS also needs donations to care for peoples lost and abandoned pets. Thanks for the Red Cross link.

  7. This is a such a good post Barbara
    we always have earthquakes here and are terrible sometimes.
    im so sorry for all the people had losses and Im glad you are safe!:)

  8. Such a horrible situation and still so hard to take it all in. I did install a wood stove when I bought this house. One cord of wood a year serves me well. Take care!

  9. You have such a big, warm heart, Barbara...these people cannot be forgotten. I am so happy that donations are heading their way. You gave some great tips, ones I never thought of, especially keeping the bathtub filled and having canned goods on hand.

    Here in the Midwest we are in danger of tornado's. There is little preparation for those except to run to shelter or a basement. And they touch down so randomly. Spring and summer can be very stressful months. But enough about the forces of nature. Try to have a good week, dear one.


  10. My heart is warmed to see so many lending a hand and helping those terribly impacted by this hurricane.

  11. Good post Barbara! I'm glad to hear some things are getting back to normal for some people. I know considering the depth of damage it caused its going to take a while to get it all straightened out again. I'm hoping this new storm will not be as bad as they predict! Good to hear they've collected some pets and are taking care of them! Glad you are okay- stay positive. Liz

  12. These are wonderful, practical ideas, Barbara. It's so important to prepare for a natural disaster and to heed the warnings. (And I can't help but see the application to prepare for our soul's well-being and heed the warnings that God has placed in His Word. Pondering this...)

  13. Wonderful advice Barbara. I think we all need to be more prepared for the emergency evacuation and how to cope without power.

  14. Such a heartbreaking situation. My prayers are with all of those affected.

  15. What excellent tips and advice you gave, Barbara. We all need to take heed. What a horrible experience for so many people. I'm glad you are okay and I will continue my prayers for all those who are still suffering.

  16. I hate that you all are having to go through all of this. It is refreshing to hear that things are slowly returning to normal or at least heading in that direction. Unfortunately recovery just doesn't happen over night. You have some important words of advice for any natural disaster. We seem to have so many these days. Take care of yourself.

  17. Hi Barbara,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all...
    The cold would get to be too...
    Sending big hugs, Elizabeth

  18. Barbara F.,
    Hello! Hope you are OK. I haven't been visiting anyone lately. You are in my thoughts. I can't imagine what so many people are going to do loosing everything.
    Take care...

  19. Barbara, these are such good reminders of things people should do to prepare for storms. I do not like to be cold either, so we put in a gas fireplace about 2 years ago so that we would have an alternative heat source if we lost power. And when we replace our stove, we're going with gas, too. I don't like to be too dependent on electricity. I'm so thankful that you had your power the entire time.

  20. Another awful tragedy. Some power trucks and crews from my province of Nova Scotia, Canada have gone down to assist in restoring power. Take care Barbara!!

  21. Good tips, Barbara! I also learned a lot from the tips my readers left on my post. I was glad to see such a wonderful response from many people in NY & NJ, and all around the country, towards helping the hurricane victims. Sadly, it will take years of work to get life back to normal for them. The company my husband works for can't go back to their office building in Lower Manhattan as it was severely damaged in the flood. They think it may take months to have everything working again.

    I'm glad my house Colorado has a gas fireplace in it as I'm sure there will be weather related power outages there too.

    Your blog is so you have twitter or fb??

    If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration...check out my blog:)

    Have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at


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