I thought I was prepared for Hurricane Sandy. I was wrong, and consequently learned two important money lessons that you should know about being fully ready for a superstorm or other natural disaster.
Having heard the dire predictions, I followed my own Next Avenue advice ("Frankenstorm: How To Prepare Yourself For Disaster") and stocked up on water, batteries, candles and canned food for my Arlington, Va., house. My car had a full tank of gas, and I knew where extra blankets were, in case my husband and I needed them. I felt prepared and was enjoying my forced day of rest, mostly curled up reading.
And then: At 5:55 p.m. Monday, as a result of five inches of rain and gale-force winds, a large white oak tree fell on our house. Minutes later, its older and larger red oak neighbor crashed to the ground across the street.
(MORE: One Good Thing About Hurricane Sandy)
Fortunately, no one was hurt and the effects appear to be relatively minor, at least so far — just some roof and electrical woes for our house plus a little damage to one neighbor’s fence and another’s lawn irrigation system.
But the tree destruction gave me a graduate course in emergency preparedness. These are the two valuable lessons I learned:
Lesson 1: If a natural disaster is coming, make sure you have key contact information on hand. That way, you’ll be ready to spring into action and take care of any necessary calls, tweets or emails.
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