Bananas, they say, are the perfect food to have in a bad storm. They need no refrigeration and they don't need to be cooked. So. Got bananas?
Hurricane Sandy could be a repeat of Hurricane Irene, says Ben Galiardo, Lower Macungie Township's director of emergency management.
"This is one to take seriously," he says.
The usual township places are cause for concern, he said: Spring Creek and Mill Creek roads, Wild Cherry Lane, pretty much any place with a bridge is a potential trouble spot.
This year, however, Galiardo says there is an added tool, though. Over the summer, the state passed a law that says anyone crossing a barricade can be punished.
Those barricades are already loaded on township trucks, Galiardo says, but possible 70-mile-per-hour winds could just blow them away.
Drivers must stay away from known trouble spots, he said.
Residents can find daytime shelter at the Lower Macungie Community Center, the Recreation Center on Route 222 and in the clubhouse at the Hills at Lock Ridge. There are no generators there, however, so there is no overnight accommodation, he said.
If it's really bad, these places will serve as staging areas and people will be taken to Agricultural Hall in Allentown which is the shelter Lehigh County provides, he said.
Macungie's pumps, barricades, chain saws and other equipment is at the ready as well, says David Boyko, the borough's emergency management director.
There are no generators in the borough, however, that are large enough to power buildings, he said, so if power is out for more than 3-4 days there could be a problem with the borough's water tanks.
Macungie Memorial Park would be a point of distribution, if need be, for any kind of supplies that would be handed out by PEMA or FEMA. Ag Hall is go-to shelter for Macungie, too, he said.
As for Alburtis, Paul Seigfried, emergency management coordinator, says he doesn't expect a problem especially since there was minimal inconvenience last year.
"If we can maintain power, we're in pretty good shape," he says.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross advises people to build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
Emergency kits should contain a three-day supply of water for each person in the household, food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. A full list of suggested items is available on redcross.org.
PPL Corp. is expanding its staffing for round-the-clock operations, and doing everything it must do to be ready for whatever Sandy may bring, said spokesman Joe Nixon.
In Lehigh County, emergency management officials are checking on personnel, equipment and vehicles in preparation and keeping abreast of the storm's track.
"There's so much variable in this storm," Tom Nervine, the director of Lehigh County's Emergency Services.
Municipal officials will know the trouble spots in their community, such as which streets are prone to flooding, he said.
Most importantly, he said, "We are concerned that people take this seriously...They have to be ready for it."