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.
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.