The one-two punch of last week's Superstorm Sandy and yesterday's nameless nor'easter is likely to put flood insurance on many East Coast consumers' shopping lists, joining generators, bottled water, batteries, and plane tickets the heck outta here.
There's a huge demand for portable power generators in the aftermath and clean-up from Hurricane Sandy. However 8,600 Champion-branded portable generators, sold exclusively at Costco, pose a fire hazard and are being recalled, warns the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
For East Coasters, dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has been made more challenging with a gas shortage and endless lines at stations for refueling. It made us think that not only would a more fuel-efficient car be great in times like these, but one with a large tank that could run for longer.
We've all seen the photos of cars under water as a result of Hurricane Sandy; it is safe to assume that countless water-damaged cars will find their way to the used-car market in the next few weeks, presented as ordinary cars rather than the flood cars that they are.
Homeowners in the dozen or so states affected by Superstorm Sandy are starting to get their lives in order. Unfortunately, for many people that means cleaning up a property littered with myriad branches, sticks, and other detritus thrown about by the storm. If you're considering buying a chain saw, you're not alone: Chain-saw sales spiked 16 percent last year following multiple storms such as tornadoes, Hurricane Irene, and the freak Halloween nor'easter. The 11 models in Consumer Reports tests range in price from $80 to $440.
One of the frustrations of Hurricane Sandy is that even our best efforts could not prevent a huge amount of destruction. Consider my friend Adam Wexler, owner of Resolution Audio Video in the waterfront section of Red Hook in Brooklyn. Before the storm he moved all his equipment up to 5 foot high scaffolding and thought it was safe. But when he arrived at work on Tuesday, he found the steel doors to his building had been caved in by the force of the water, which reached a high water mark of 8 feet. His equipment was scattered and soaked.
In Ossining, N.Y. Sandy tossed a 40-foot boat onto the tracks of the commuter rail line. And scores of homeowners across the Northeast lost cars and houses to downed trees. Now the cleanup begins. In addition to ruined personal property, such powerful storms scatter construction materials, damage structures and deposit sediment. For safety's sake, it's important to dispose of the debris properly, some can be recycled but some can't. Here's what the federal experts recommend.
Storm Sandy is retreating but leaves behind a threat that can ruin home furnishings and pose problems for residents with allergies, asthma and compromised immune systems. Mold. To keep it in check, homeowners should attack the problem within 24 to 48 hours following advice from federal safety experts.
Superstorm Sandy left a wake of destruction, leaving millions without power. Many people are now emerging from debris-strewn neighborhoods, seeking supplies or trying to return to work. Even though roads are becoming increasingly passable, there are real dangers. The following tips will help keep you and fellow motorists safe.
If you've made cell-phone calls in the past few days, you may have noticed sub-par quality and even encountered the dreaded "all circuits are busy" message. Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski announced yesterday that superstorm Sandy knocked a fourth of all cell-phone towers out of commission.
As survivors of Superstorm Sandy start cleaning up the estimated $20 billion in destruction, homeowners need to prepare for another possible squall—with their insurance company, according to the latest data from the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
If you rely on electricity for home medical equipment like an oxygen tank, ventilator, medical bed, wheel chair, or blood glucose monitor, losing power can be much more than an inconvenience. Your first step should be to call your electric company and fire department to let them know that you have a medical device that needs power. While you wait for power to be restored or help to come, here's some advice from the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration on what else to do:
Floods can contaminate the water you drink, making a bad situation worse. Obviously, the simplest step is using bottled water if you can. If that's not available, follow this advice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Below you'll find information of what generators of different sizes can power. Pick a model with a wattage at least equal to the total for what you're powering. Manufacturers also suggest totaling the higher surge watts some appliances draw when they cycle on. Models that scored well for power delivery were up to that surge; for untested models, we suggest simply focusing on running watts. User our wattage calculator to determine how much power you need.
Want to find out if pharmacies in your area are open during Hurricane Sandy or other disasters? A useful online tool we discovered is from a group called Rx Response, which has just activated its emergency response system in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: