South Orange, Maplewood Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

With the storm headed this way, locals are stocking up on flashlights and other necessities

"Preparing but not in panic mode," is how Elena Morales described her shopping trip to PathMark. In anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, Morales bought cereal, milk and instant coffee. "I already have tuna at home," she said, "and I'll get water and paper plates tomorrow."

Morales is not the only local shopping before the storm. The Valley Street Dollar Variety store has many flashlights and batteries on hand, but they are selling briskly. 

Likewise, plastic covers that could serve to protect shrubs as well as other storm supplies were on Thursday's shopping lists. 

Many locals bought generators and other heavy-duty supplies last year, when Irene stormed through the area. At that time, Kim Collins explained the basics of her emergency kit. 

It's not too late to prepare, according to the National Weather Service guidelines.

Collins' kit includes the following:

In a grab n' go open tool kit (pictured):

Headlamps for each family member, 2 of which have lantern attachments

A (floating) big lantern/light

A Mag light flashlight

An emergency whistle that floats (actually have a couple on lanyards...good for hiking with kids) 

Lots of glow sticks + glow necklaces, to hopefully make it festive + to use for pets, if need be

Batteries + extra cell phone battery

Lighter (to be able to use gas stove if power out or to start charcoal grill)

Duct + electrical tape

Rope, bungees 

First aid kit, with medicines for anyone in the family who needs them

Swiss army knife with compass etc/Leatherman tool

Camera (in case have to take pics of damage for insurance purposes etc), cash, copies of ID in dry pouch

Sharpie marker

Fully charged walkie talkies, set to same channel

A big zip lock bag (to throw documents in, would add a portable drive with photos if time, important papers etc or leave a dry note if need be)

Contractor trash bag

Space blanket

Pocket-sized rain poncho

Potable water treatment pills

A small, collapsible water container

Antibacterial gel

Then I have a big Rubbermaid container with a bigger companion kit:

Sealed bin that can be temporary toilet, which holds:


3gal collapsible water container 

MRE-type food bars

A couple of mess kits/cutlery in case no paper products

Some water

Pry bar, folding shovel and a couple of other tools

Tarps, plastic sheating, more tape

Fire extinguisher

Gas can

Bug repel. wipes + mosquito "dunks" for standing water 

More batteries

more cash 

More potable water treatment pills

First aid book

Printed instructions on what to do in various emergencies

Tampons, diapers, other personal supplies as needed


Ziplocks, trash bags

Deck of cards, a couple Hot Wheels, a story collection

Pet food

Phone charger

In the event of emergency, Collins has a family plan to "grab shoes and change of clothes, sleeping bags for each family member, if needed - I had them gathered for this storm."

In addition, "I have recommended water and food supply, paper plates etc., corded phone, Solar/crank radio with spot light, charcoal for grill."

Collins also notes that it's valuable, free and easy to choose a non-local person to be clearing-house contact, as well as selecting meeting place for the family. She also recommends having a copy of the key to your safe bank deposit box on hand.


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