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Talk to Us: What Are Your Best Tips for Disaster Preparedness?

Hurricane Sandy is an über-reminder of some of our own Northwest struggles with severe weather. How do you prepare before winter hits full on?

The East Coast has been left reeling this week from one of the worst storms in recent memory, with millions still without power, transportation, or easy supplies (learn more about current conditions on our East Coast sister sites). For us in the Pacific Northwest, with winter coming, it calls to mind last winter's huge storm, which also left us stranded, grocery stores closed due to power outages, and hoping the Prest-o logs would last.

We want to know, what did you, Patch users, learn from last year that can help us all be better-prepared this winter? Tell us in the comments.

Were there certain supplies you didn't think of having on hand in advance that were crucially lacking? Did something you did have turn out to be unexpectedly useful?

FEMA recommends the following items for a basic emergency kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Share your best tips for being prepared with your neighbors on Patch, and if you need more information before wild weather or natural disasters knock on our doorstep, check out the Community Emergency Response Team website for your city here.

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