Oct 30, 2012

How to survive Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy

Everything you need to know to be prepared for the next disaster to hit Montreal this October

Jacqui Galbraith

In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, heavy rain is expected in Southern Quebec, and western parts of the expecting possible snowfall. About 75 millimetres of rainfall is expected in the area, and winds may reach up to 100 kilometres per hour. With such conditions, power outages are a definite possibility for students here at McGill. So, the Tribune has compiled a comprehensive hurricane survival guide to get you through the potential storm.

To start, store some water and non-perishable food in your apartment. Keep a few jugs of water and a small supply of groceries on hand, enough to get you through a week. Things like granola bars, cans of soup, dried fruit, crackers, peanut butter, trail mix, juice boxes, and most importantly, marshmallows are all good choices. As a perk, all the candles around your apartment mean lots of opportunities to make s’mores. Also, try to open your refrigerator as little as possible to make your perishables last longer.

As far as other supplies go, batteries are your best friend. No power means chargers are useless, so keep those cell phones and iPods fully charged whenever possible, because you never know when your electricity could go. You’re going to need batteries for flashlights, portable clocks, and radios, which are essential for keeping yourself informed when your phone and laptop run out of power.

That brings us to the next point. Keeping yourself updated via radio, on power outages around the city, the status of the repair crews working on power lines, and any other issues that may arise from the harsh weather conditions, is extremely important. Knowing when you can expect your power back will be a huge priority—especially when you have to take those cold showers.

A basic first-aid kit is something every apartment should have in any event. If you haven’t had time to get one together yet, you might want to make sure you do that before the storm hits. A simple first-aid kit should include Band-Aids and gauze dressings of different sizes, tweezers, scissors, painkillers, a tensor bandage, an anti-septic cream like Polysporin, disinfectant wipes, tape, safety pins, and disposable gloves.

Check online for a more detailed list, but these are the basics you should have in your kit. Go ahead and put a kit together now, so you’ll have it in case anything happens due to Sandy, and if nothing does, then you’re prepared for the next year or so, should anything else come up.

During a strong storm, it’s suggested that you turn off all electronics except for one light, so that, when the power goes out, you will know when it comes back. This may be a bit extreme considering the storm we’re expecting, but just be careful around your electronics. Be sure not to light candles pre-emptively though, because they present a fire hazard if knocked over. Instead, wait until you have definitely lost power, and then light however many candles you need. Just be sure to remember where all the candles that you lit are located.

Should this hurricane prove to be nothing more than some heavy rain by the time it reaches Montreal, most of us will continue about our routines normally. However, heavy rains can affect driving conditions drastically, and as a pedestrian or cyclist, this can make travelling even more dangerous. At least the people in the cars have all that metal for protection; what’s sheltering you from the hydroplaning car careening towards you while you try to catch that yellow pedestrian light? Use more conservative judgement when crossing, because despite the best intentions of the always cool, calm, and collected Montreal motorists, lots of rain means horrible braking conditions, so it’s up to you to keep yourself safe. Take these tips, use your trademark McGill good judgement, and you will come out the other side of this storm as beautifully as you did that devastating earthquake.

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