We're still not sure what the final outcome of Hurricane Sandy will be, but the "Frankenstorm" is already playing havoc with flights at airports.
My executive producer Christa and her family were in Boston this weekend. They were late to the airport on their return leg, and she was worried they would miss their flight and there would not be another one.
Her parents, meanwhile, were supposed to be en route to Hawaii today from the Washington D.C. area. Their flight was cancelled and they got their money back. So they ended up just taking off in a car for Florida.
The thing is, you cannot control the weather. Airlines will not put themselves in danger to fly into a storm. They have time-tested formulas for limiting damage when storms arise. You get your money back, but you don't get the trip back.
So you've got to be creative. If you know somebody stranded in the Northeast corridor, I'd suggest renting a car and driving West. You'll probably need to drive about 6 or 9 hours on an interstate until you get outside of the storm's impact zone. Look at what the marketplace offers you to "escape."
But as far as screaming at the airline rep when your flight is cancelled, well, they're just concerned with the safety of their family and home or apartment. They can't invent an airplane to carry you. And even if they could, would you want to be on an airplane flying into danger?
As far as your home, most often we don't know when tragedy will strike. But are you prepared? What does prepared even mean? FEMA has some recommendations.
I've long recommended that you videotape your possessions annually by doing a walk and talk. As you're talking and the tape is rolling, you should state the value of your belongings and name the store where you bought the stuff if possible.
Then you want to safeguard whatever media you've recorded that on in a fireproof safe at home or somewhere off-site.
Better yet, upload your video file to save it in the cloud. Using your computer or smartphone, send the file to a storage site such as Google Drive, iCloud, DropBox or Box. Or, you could simply email the file to yourself!
You want to get your stuff virtually documented like this so if things do go bad, you can prove what your possessions were to the insurance company.
Remember too that regular homeowners insurance does not cover against flood or wind-based disaster. Those are separate policies you have to buy 30 days out before an event.
And you know the stuff about flashlights…but do you do it? I have a crank flashlight and a crank radio. I also have a radio with a USB hookup that I can plug my charger in and charge my cell phone.
These are simple steps you can take that don't prevent the hassles, but hopefully reduce them.