Post Hurricane Sandy Ideas for Building
If you live in an area with major natural storms, here's some thoughts on planning your new or existing home:
--Insist on hurricane clips for upper floor and roof framing (and if you live in seismic areas insist on foundation tie-downs);
--If power outages are a regular annual occurance, plan for a generator and seperate sub-panel to provide back-up power for key electrical circuits (exits and corridors, refrigerator, heating, hot water heater, basement sump pump and an outlet or two for microwave and miscellaneous as a minimum);
--Emergency power controls may range from manual (you go out and start the generator and throw the appropriate breaker) to automatic--costs vary accordingly);
--Tornado and hurricane threats may warrant a "safe room", a concrete basement, concrete closet or other area safe from winds and falling debris. Locate it where you can easily access it, particularly at night after going to bed.
--Have an "emergency bag" containing important medications, toiletries, change of clothing and snacks for each family member;
--Camping supplies such as a lantern, cook stove, heater, spare radio, flashlights and canned and/or dehydrated food supplies;
--Speaking of water, a gallon of water/person/day is the recommended supply. Your laundry sinks, even toilet tanks, may be good back-up water supplies if you don't fill and store backup water containers;
--Don't forget to fill up the gas tank on at least one vehicle.
Don't forget to start and maintain your generator on a monthly basis as a minimum. You should have a 5-gallon container of extra gasoline available in case you cannot immediately go out for extra fuel, if needed.
Hope this helps for future planning.