FRANKENSTORM: How to Survive Hurricane Sandy

by Charlotte Dow

Having lived on the east coast my whole life, I think I know how to handle a hurricane. Just when I thought we were in the clear for this year’s hurricane season, along comes Sandy in her modest cardigan and purity ring, ready to cause some trouble at Rydell High (and by Rydell High I mean the Mid-Atlantic). This hybrid storm, (“part tropical, all beast” as the Philadelphia Inquirer put it) comes just days ahead of Halloween, much like the early nor’easter we saw last year around this time. So east-coasters, I present you with a few tips on how to stay safe while the “Frankenstorm” wreaks havoc outside. 


For the love of god, STAY INSIDE. Find somewhere to camp out in your house or apartment away from windows and glass doors. Keep your curtains and blinds closed for extra protection. Closets, hallways and small rooms are good places to hang out, particularly if they’re on the first floor. A basement is your best bet for your personal storm HQ.



FOOD! If the power goes out, the stuff in your refrigerator is going to get gross real fast. Transfer anything you think you might eat while the power’s out to a cooler. Figure out what you can prepare without heat and stock up on those ingredients. Easy protein-rich dishes are your friend: break out the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! 


Get cash, get gas, get water, get whatever you think you’ll need for the next few days. It seems excessive, but having a few extra water bottles will definitely come in handy when you’re holed up in your storm bunker.


Consider getting renter’s insurance if you don’t have it already. It’s pretty inexpensive and will protect you not only for this storm, but in plenty of other situations as well. For more information, check out our article on renter’s insurance in the February/March 2012 issue.


While candles seem like the sexier option for storm lighting, battery-powered lights are the way to go. High winds and fire are not the best combination. Try lamps or flashlights, and if you really want candles, try the flameless kind. They give off the same vibe, and sometimes they smell awesome.


Keepin’ the storm shelter classy.

Finally, find some non-electric, non-internet things to do while you’re camped out inside. Now might be the time to finish knitting that ugly Christmas sweater or to read that novel that’s been gathering dust on your shelf for months. If you’ve got a group together for a little storm shelter party, play an old-fashioned board or card game (I personally recommend Cards Against Humanity, for the horrible person in all of us). And of course, alcohol is always an option. That seems to be how a few New Orleans residents coped with Hurricane Issac a few months back, according to Instagram.


For more safety information, check out the Red Cross’s website.  


Images via.,, and

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