Nov 06

Things I Learned During Hurricane Sandy

This is our neighbor boating down our street to get to a part of the street that wasn’t flooded.That’s about 5 feet of water below him.

Wow…it’s been a long 8 days. Last Monday night we lost our power and we just got it back last night. Thankfully we are on the 3rd floor and our unit was not damaged. We think our car might have been flooded, but we haven’t been able to confirm yet because the garage we rent doesn’t have power yet (Update-the car is totaled). Despite all of the stress and frustration, I know we are so blessed and lucky to be OK. Many, many people in our community lost everything and our hearts go out to them.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the past week:

Practical things:

  • Our condo does have hot water when there’s no power. The water heats in the tank and is stored until you use it. For 3 days the boyfriend showered and told me that the water was “warm”. I thought he meant there was residual “warm” water in the pipes, so I didn’t bother to shower, knowing that I’d be freezing about halfway through my shampoo. No, he meant the water was normal… and for 3 days I didn’t shower because I was confident I’d freeze to death. Now we know.
  • Our building does not have emergency lighting and the hallways are really dark and scary with no power. Wind up flashlights are invaluable because batteries were sold out the first day of the storm! Thank goodness for candles, which we had plenty of thanks to my couponing.
  • MREs (military issued meals) aren’t that bad, we were given one and tried it out of curiosity. Thankfully we had plenty of food and were even able to give away a bunch to people in need.
  • We need to buy a windup radio/cell phone charger. Not knowing what’s going on during an emergency feels terrible. Hype or not, I would have wanted to know what was going on in the community.

Sentimental things:

  • People are generally good spirited. I was amazed by the generosity of the people in our community. Free food, free water, hot coffee, free charging stations to charge your electronic devices (all by other good Samaritans, local restaurant owners, and community people). The national guard and army were here too, but generally the biggest generosity we saw was from other individuals, not the government. Proof that there are still good people in the world. That warms my heart. This is only one bullet point, but think of it as multiplied by 100 😉
  • Halfway through knitting a huge cowl, I bumped the chair I was using to hold my yarn and terribly tangled the skein. It was the only thing I had to do since we had no lights and no power. Jokingly, but not that jokingly, I told the bf I was going to, “lose my shit” if I couldn’t untangle it. For 2 hours the bf painstakingly untangled the yarn and balled it for me so I could continue knitting. Probably, for his own sanity so I didn’t freak out, but man I’m lucky to have such a sweet bf.

Funny things:

  • After my first hot shower I asked the bf to bring me in a change of clothes, so I didn’t have to open the bathroom door and freeze while getting dressed-it’s in the 40’s here and there was no heat. (WARNING-This is an over-share so you may want to stop reading). He came back with the  funniest, mis-matached outfit and the frilliest, sexiest pair of underpants I own. You know, the pair you’d buy for Valentines day or an anniversary. OK honey, I love you and I’m glad you still find me attractive after 3 days without a shower, but really? Go back and get me the granny panties.

This is the stairs from the street. That recycling bin is floating in 3 feet of water

This is our neighbor’s building. You’ll notice the water is almost touching the planter’s under the building. This is after the water receded about a foot.


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  1. Oh my gosh, those photos are crazy! Hearing about the hurricane definitely makes me want to start thinking about being more prepared for the unexpected.

    1. And those were the photos from the day after the storm hit (and the water receded)! I know we weren’t as prepared as we could have been. Another wind up flashlight, and a wind up radio/phone charger are definitely on my Christmas list.

  2. I was wondering if you were okay. I can’t believe it took a week to restore power. Your pics are incredible. So much water and damage. Good to hear that you are safe and that you and your bf are still laughing.

    1. We are, thank goodness. We’re very lucky. Between the bf and the dog, I always have something to laugh about. They keep me going.

  3. Wow, glad you guys are OK! Hurricane Juan hit us pretty hard in ’03,we didn’t get the flooding but due to the age of the city and the size of trees there was substantial damage done by them, we also didn’t have power for a week-some rural parts up to 2 weeks. It’s amazing what you’re forced to learn under these circumstances!

  4. HAHA on the underwear! Too funny.

    I’m glad you’re okay…and I hope the car is, too. Property damage is no fun to deal with. All of you in that region are in my thoughts. I hope the coming noreaster is an overestimated concern. Do you know of anything people who aren’t local can do to help?

    1. Thanks! We’re really fortunate to only have “minor” property damage. Some people lost everything and my heart is breaking for them.

      I know there are different relief funds being set up by local towns. Rebuild Hoboken is one of them. The link to their site is

  5. Wow. Those are some intense photos. My heart goes out to all of you in the affected areas. I can’t believe how much water is on the street!

    1. The photos I’ve seen have been amazing and terrible. There is so much damage and nobody was prepared for how bad things would get. I’m just hoping that everyone can get back to normal soon, but for some getting back to “normal” may be months from now 🙁

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