Today is the 2 year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Many Jersey shore and New York residents still have vivid recollections of the physical and emotional devastation that Sandy caused. Hurricane Sandy cause more than $50 million in damage and destroyed more than 600,000 homes. 162 people lost their lives, and thousands and thousands of people lost their livelihood.
Some of the most affected by Hurricane Sandy were the children. Displaced from homes, daily routines and structure uprooted, these children were suffering. Schools were closed for days, months, with a few still not open two years later.
A recent Save the Children's report included a poll that shows most of us are still not nearly as prepared as we could be to protect our children and ourselves from disaster. You don't have to live in a hurricane zone to be prepared. Natural disasters can happen anywhere. No matter where you live, you need to be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Was my family ready on that fateful day when Hurricane Sandy made landfall just one mile from where we live? Not exactly. We thought we were ready. We had stashes of extra batteries. We had cases and case of water. We stocked up on non-perishable foods, but we never thought we'd have to resort to eating them. At 5:00 that evening, we lost power. Shrouded in darkness, we held our breath for a few seconds waiting for the power to return.
After five minutes, nothing. After an hour, nothing. Two hours, three hours, five hours passed with no power. We went to bed. Surely by the morning, the power would be restored. As it turned it out, we waited six excrutiatingly long days for our power to be restored. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, November 4th, our power was restored.
These days, we would do it very differently if we were in a similar situation. Thanks to Save the Children, there are checklists to help both parents and care givers in the event of an emergency. These checklists will guide you in putting together a plan for stocking up at home, developing a communication plan, and putting together an evacuation plan. I've printed the parents checklist, and we've put the procedures in place.
Take the PLEDGE to protect children from disaster. When you pledge, you'll receive full access to Save the Children's 2014 Disaster Report Card where you can see how your state ranks in protecting children.
For more information and to become better prepared in the event of a disaster, visit savethechildren.org/getready.
To see my other Hurricane Sandy related posts, click here, here, and here.
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