Even if you don't live nearby, this storm can serve as an important reminder: We must ALL be prepared for unexpected events, or we can easily be caught empty-handed.
A long-lasting event: 2-3 days of being hammered by Mother Nature
Given that it usually takes another 2-3 days for cleaning up city streets after a massive snowfall event, this means the following:
!! You need to have a 6-day food and water supply ready right now! !!
That's 3 days for the storm and 3 days for cleanup. And that's if nothing else goes terribly wrong. In a worst-case scenario, this could extend to 7-10 days in some of the harder-hit areas.
Local grocery stores are already sold out of essential items
"Major grocery stores in the area have completely sold out of essential items like batteries, bottled water, and even highly processed snack foods that do not require preparation or refrigeration. I personally went to purchase a few minor items for my preparedness kit from a local grocery outlet that is quite large and witnessed completely empty shelves within the aisle that generally contains large amounts of water bottles along with gallon jugs, and various glass sparkling water bottles. The aisle that houses the batteries (particularly the heavy duty kind used for most flashlights) was also almost entirely dry. When shopping I also saw several individuals with the government-approved 'survival' checklist, striking off the items one by one as they acquired them.
"Last year's hurricane Irene prompted somewhat of a response from locals within the Philadelphia and New York City area in regards to preparation and concern, but this hurricane has generated one that is far more severe. It is conservative to say that by the end of this weekend going into the storm (assuming it does hit as predicted), most if not all local stores will be out of most essential and even non-essential items. And this is just a few days after the news of the storm hit the mainstream media."
See my complete preparedness checklist, below...
Another huge concern with all this is the possibility that the power may be out. As temperatures drop, this could put many people in the position of having to endure very cold indoor temperatures. This lack of heating could endure for many days, even as long as two weeks in some areas.
The best defense against the cold is, of course, to have good shelter (a roof over your head), warm clothing and extra sleeping bags for all family members.
Do NOT plan on using propane heaters indoors as these are a health hazard and a fire hazard when used indoors. Same story with candles.
Water: Do you have enough?
Imagine a week without tap water. Now you're starting to get the picture of what may be coming.
If this storm hits as promised, you're going to be living in third-world conditions for about a week. Most Americans have never lived in a third-world country like I have, so they've never really tried to live without running water, electricity, grocery stores, and so on. (It's no fun, believe me. Nothing like a cold sponge shower to wake you up in the morning, eh?)
You'll need a MINIMUM of 2 gallons per day, per person, stored in your home or apartment. So if there are two of you living there, and you're planning for six days without running water, you will need 24 gallons of water stored, got it?