- Limit your travel and use caution while driving. Wind causes problems on the roadways. Those with high profile vehicles like conversion vans, trucks, and larger vehicles are more prone to being pushed by the winds. Keep this in mind, especially when passing other large vehicles, crossing bridges like the Edison Bridge, and reduce your speeds accordingly. Going faster doesn’t help you cut through the wind better. Slow down, and drive with caution.
- Fill up on gas, have some cash on hand. Make that trip to the gas station to fill up as soon as possible. As winds increase and we potentially experience power outages, gas pumps may not work. Credit card readers may not work. So having a full tank and a modestly stocked wallet is a good survival tactic, and at a minimum makes the weather conditions less limiting for necessary activities like going to work and picking kids up from activities.
- Stock up on water and groceries. Stop at the grocery store for bottled water and non-perishable foods. With power outages, cooking may not be possible. Preserving frozen foods and cold in this incident isn’t as big an issue as during the summer, but you still need to consider food safety and after the storm pitch the foods that thawed and were not kept at appropriately cold temperatures. Emergency coordinators recommend a thee-day supply of food and water for any disaster, so have enough at home for through Thursday, at a minimum.
- Don't forget supplies and shelter for your pets. Cats, dogs, and other animals need food and water for the same three days as humans. They need protection from the weather and cold just like we do, so have provisions to keep them inside and out of the wind and rain. Wild animals are usually able to hunker down and survive the storm, but domesticated pets depend upon their owners to provide protection.
- Charge your electronics, and have extra batteries on hand. Charge your electronic devices and keep them at full battery. When power goes out, you can sometimes get information from a battery-operated radio, laptop, or electronic device. Charge your cell phones too.
- Dress for the weather. Have warm and water-resistant outerwear ready in case you need to venture outside. Boots will keep feet dry and warm. Even though it’s only October, you might have put on an extra layer of warm clothing and protect your head and hands with hats and gloves. Don’t’ take chances going out and getting stuck without the proper clothing.
- Pay attention to instructions given by local authorities. Perhaps most importantly, heed public warnings issued by emergency management authorities. Turn on your weather radio and listen to the information broadcasts. Keep television on for the news as long as we have power. Listen a transistor radio if the power is out. Don’t underestimate the wrath of this storm.
- Contact authorities about hazards. If a power line goes down in your neighborhood, or if your area begins to flood, call your local law enforcement or the sheriff's department immediately. Never approached downed wires or drive through flooded roadways.
Information from Sandy Waggoner, Erie-Huron-Ottawa CERT coordinator and the Erie County Sheriff's Department.