Be prepared before a storm comes

Consumer Reports explains important lesson learned from Superstorm Sandy


Hurricane season has been pretty slow thus far but you never know what could still happen. Two to three major hurricanes are still expected to hit sometime this fall. That's why it's really important that you are prepared with supplies and an emergency plan.

You don't want to wait until a hurricane is barreling toward the coast to start gathering what you need. If you don't have it together already, start working on your emergency kit.

Jamie Kopf, Consumer Reports' senior associate editor talked to Channel 4 about their recent report on the best ways to prepare.

Kopf said, "As far as the emergency kit goes, over time stock pile the basics stuff. Batteries, flashlight, bottled water, wireless radio, first aid kit. You can put those things in a plastic rolling bag or an air tight storage bin."

It's important that everything is together so it's easy to take if you need to evacuate. Also included in that kit should be medication. Any prescriptions and over the counter drugs you may need. Kopf said you want at least two weeks worth. She explained how some victims of super storm Sandy learned this lesson the hard way.

"We found that a quarter of them had problems accessing medications in the aftermath of the storm. Either because the pharmacy was closed or they normally got their meds through mail order, and now there was no mail delivery," said Kopf.

Since high winds could knock out power for days, you may also want to consider buying a portable generator.

"A portable generator can be super useful in the event of a power outage, especially if it's an extended outage," Kopf said. "That's because it can supply needed lighting and improve your quality of life." But be careful! They omit carbon monoxide and it's critical that you use them safely and they are at least 15 feet from the house.

Even if you don't spring for the big stuff, like the generator, Kopf warned you must at least have the basics.

"It really can't be overstated how important it is to be ready ahead of time," she said. "Take a few short steps now to save yourself a big headache, or potentially a dangerous or unhealthy situation if something does happen in your area."