Halloween is less than a week away… but on the East Coast, something far scarier is brewing.

As Hurricane Sandy sets her sites on our shores, meteorologists warn that the hurricane conditions could mix with a winter storm to create a hybrid superstorm.

Due to the storm’s hybrid nature, and its Halloween-timed landfall, news agencies have dubbed it…

The Frankenstorm.

but for every Frankenstorm, we of course need…


But… how exactly does one prepare for a storm that is an unprecedented mix of both winter and hurricane conditions? 

We thought you might ask.

Since reports are all over the map–with some saying the storm will be a dud and others calling it the storm of the century–we’re going with the prepare for all possibilities plan.

Frankenstorm is a two-headed beast. So below are some safety and preparation tips to tackle both hurricane safety and winter storm safety ‘head on.’

Hurricane Safety Tips:

  1. Build an emergency kit. Tips for building the kit can be found here
  2. Learn the elevation of your property and whether it is flood-prone
  3. Study community hurricane evacuation routes
    1. Know where you would go if a hurricane hit
    2. Make a plan on how to evacuate. A downloadable Family Emergency Plan can be found here. Print it off and complete it.
    3. Practice your plan
  4. Develop a plan for your pet. A great list of steps and supplies from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) can be found here.
  5. Don’t forget about your business. Hurricane preparation does not end at home. Here is a great Business Survival Plan from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative
  6. Pay attention to the news. Know the guidelines of when you should evacuate and when you should stay. A good guide from the National Hurricane Survival Initiative can be found here.
  7. Cover all your home’s windows.
  8. Brush up on your watches and warning terms. That way, you’ll understand the risk and can better make safety and evacuation decisions. A good review from FLASH can be found here.
  9. Install straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to your frame structure to reduce wind damage
  10. Keep trees well-trimmed
  11. Clear loose or clogged rain gutters
  12. Reinforce your garage doors
  13. Bring in ALL outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and similar items that are not tied down
  14. If you live in a high rise, prepare to take shelter on or below the 10th floor
  15. Print out and LAMINATE (to protect from water), tips for what to do during and after a hurricane and put them with your safety kit. You can find “during and after a hurricane” tips here.
  16. Check your property insurance policy for appropriate coverage. Here’s some information on California Casualty’s coverage and here’s some information on flood insurance-an important factor in Hurricane recovery.

Winter Storm Safety Tips:

  1. Prepare an emergency kit. Click here for tips.
  2. Add these winter-storm specific items to your existing kit:
    1. Rock salt or other products to melt ice on walkways. Here’s a list of recommended products from the EPA.
    2. Sand to improve traction
    3. Snow shovels and snow removal equipment
    4. Heating fuel in case you lose power. Be sure to store good, dry wood for your fireplace or stove
    5. Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm
  3. Read, print off, and laminate this Red Cross Storm Safety Checklist. Make sure you have a safety plan, and that you review it with your children
  4. If it gets cold and you want to use a heater, be SURE to read these safety tips! Portable heaters cause fires!
  5. Review these tips for pet safety during a winter storm
  6. Minimize travel. One of the most dangerous places during a snow storm is roadways. If you can, stay inside.
  7. Listen to the radio and be aware of changing weather conditions. To brush up on your winter snow storm terms, click here.


This Frankenstorm has the potential to be dangerous and deadly. Please protect yourself, your family and your home. Review your safety and preparedness plan BEFORE the storm hits.

(And in the meantime, we’ll hope it’s just like all those bad horror movies: All hype, no scare.)

California Casualty

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