There is much truth in the old saying about New England’s weather, “blink a minute and it will change.” Living in the Northeast we are exposed to each of the four seasons and to the potential weather emergencies each season carries. It is amazing to see the Atlantic Ocean go from as smooth as glass to a stormy maelstrom. Nature is powerful and weather can impact our lives in an instant, and with that in mind, it is important to be aware and have the resources necessary in a weather emergency.
Living across from the ocean, I take careful notice during all four seasons. It is important to have an Emergency Kit, especially when you live on the 18th floor of a tower with 18 floors. Winter northeasters can be just as dangerous as a hurricane in August and September. Our Emergency Kit consists of: duct tape to tape the windows, batteries, a battery operated radio, bottled water (if electricity goes out we have no water since we are so high up), candles, matches, non-perishable food items, an extra three or four day supply of any medications we take, and most importantly, cash. If the weather causes catastrophic damages and the banks don’t come online right away, it is important to have a sufficient amount of cash to purchase any necessities after the storm has passed. One other important necessity is to have at least one phone that is hard-wired or plugged directly into a jack that will work with or without electricity. A fully charged cell phone will also work if cellular communications are still in working order.
No matter where you live it is imperative to pay attention to any of the announcements that the Emergency Services Department is making. They will be the most valuable source during a storm. They will have the most up to date information regarding evacuation orders, shelter locations, health of local water supply, and most up to date forecasts in the unfortunate instance that television and or radio broadcasts are interrupted. It is incredible to see the wonderful work the ESD does in times like these. During the Blizzard of 1978 they got the information out using all terrain and/or amphibious vehicles equipped with loud speakers when necessary. These vehicles were also used to evacuate residents of areas seriously affected by the storm’s wrath.
Weather forecasting is not an exact science. Weather forecasters work very hard using the latest technologies in order to bring us the valuable weather information. New England’s weather is harder to predict than the next lottery winner. The terrain and climate provides the potential ingredients for everything from a tornado to a blizzard and everything else that Mother Nature can throw at us. A storm’s track can change on a dime so it is important to be alert and take action when necessary. Knowledge is power and knowledge of one’s surroundings and what to do in an emergency can mean the difference between life and death.