Hurricane Sandy numbers & initial lessons

There are always an interesting set of numbers about any storm like Sandy.  Here are some of the ones I thought to be interesting,

  • 932 – The number of miles across / wide for the storm. This distance is about the distance from New York to Jacksonville, Florida.  At its largest, Sandy would have covered almost 1/3 of the United States.
  • 13.88 – The height in feet for the storm surge that occurred from the wind pushing the water that high.
  • 8.6 million – The number of people who lost power across 16 states and the District of Columbia
    • 65% of all New Jersey residents were without power on the Wednesday after the storm hit.
    • 60% of New Yorkers who lost power have had it restored as of Saturday, 11/3.
  • 124 – The number of years it’s been since the New York Stock Exchange was shut down two consecutive days due to weather (the year was 1888).
  • 60’s & 30’s – The temperature ranges within the storm.  The 60’s were in the New England area and the 30’s were in the Great Lakes & Appalachians
  • 22 – The number of inches of snowfall in Great Smokey Mountain National Park.  There were a couple of areas in West Virginia and Maryland that received 2 feet of snow with drifts up to 4 feet.
  • 4 – The height in feet of sand washed into the coastal communities of New Jersey.
  • 200 – The number of people evacuated from NYU Hospital during the height of the storm due to no electricity.  Even the backup generators failed.
  • 2 & 3 – The number of days JFK & Newark Liberty airports were shut down & 3 days for LaGuardia airport’s shutdown. Over 18,000 flights were cancelled.
  • 46 – The number of miles of flooded subway track in New York City.
  • 110 – The number of homes lost to fire on Breezy Point in the Rockaways area of New York City.  Two leading causes of fires were leaking natural gas lines & fallen electrical lines.
  • 4 & 24 – The number of hours for food to go bad in a refrigerator & freezer once electricity is lost.
  • 111 – The number of people killed as a result of the storm (as of Friday, 11/2).  Sadly this number is expected to climb
    • As of Wednesday, 10/31, the leading cause of death was falling trees
    • The greatest concentration of storm related deaths in New York was Staten Island by people who did not evacuate
  • < 1/3 – Less than 1/3 of all renters in New York City have renters insurance
  • $50 billion – the initial damage estimates.  $7 billion was the amount of the damage attributed to wind initially.

These numbers are interesting and tell a part of the story.  There are a number of things I believe we should learn from this if and when we face a similar situation (and it may not be a hurricane).

  • If you can evacuate, do so before the storm arrives, not at the last minute.  It’s better to leave a day or two before arrival.  Take the storm warnings seriously.
  • Attempting to leave during the middle of the storm is highly dangerous.  A number of people on Staten Island died when they left their homes during the height of the storm because of flooding and they were swept away.
  • Stocking up food in a refrigerator is pointless.  You need a week’s worth of dried or canned food & water (1 gallon of water per person per day).
  • Have back up lighting and enough batteries to last a week.
  • An emergency radio with weather bands is a good investment.
  • Have a small amount of cash (without electricity, ATM’s and card readers don’t work) on hand.
  • Fill up your vehicles / generators before the storm arrives (pumps are electronically operated).
  • Have a predetermined plan on where you’ll go or meet if you are separated from each other.
  • Have a backup method of communication established.  Cell phone batteries need to be recharged.
  • If you have pets, your plans need to include them too.

Doing all of these things does not help you avoid being impacted by the storm or event.  It simply provides you with the means and tools to survive and plan your response as opposed to reacting.  What are your thoughts or questions?  Post them below or on our Facebook page.

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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