Welcome to Ask Gail – a place to share questions and answers about what matters to us most: family, friends, community, health, peace, books, favorite resources, what feeds our soul… Ask Gail is also where we can create and share very important information like “Gail’s Guide to Going to the Hospital” and “Gail’s Storm Checklist.” Stay tuned for more…


Gail’s Storm Checklist

I remember hurricanes when I was growing up–it meant staying inside, listening to a battery-operated radio, and waiting for the storm to pass. As an adult, summer storms meant taping the windows, pulling the boat out of the water, and then staying inside listening to a battery- operated radio, and waiting for the storm to pass.

Now I am older and hurricanes and Nor’easters seem bigger and scarier. We have better storm prediction and reporting, which is good and helpful to get prepared and stay safe. We have 24-hour news cycles that hype the weather and scare the dickens out of us so that our preparations take on a drama and intensity not always consistent with the actual storm threat.

I am fortunate to live in a mixed-generation neighborhood. We have city water and sewer. We also have big, old, beautiful trees that topple over and take the power lines with them, leaving us without heat, refrigeration, and of course, our electronics–none of which I think I can live without, until I rediscover board games, reading or knitting by lantern, and enjoying the absence of all the daily noises.

After Hurricane Irene, we got a generator as did a number of people on our block. Before, during, and after Storm Sandy, I thought a lot about how we fared and why. As ex-sailors, we have always been heavy on the side of preparation and “go” bags–we would rather be safe than sorry. So, here’s my take on being prepared before, during, and after a storm, flood, or power outage.

And may you be safe.

Gail Ostrow


Gail’s Storm Checklist (PDF)

Gail's Storm Checklist