Be Ready For The Unexpected

By Lina Younes

This past Friday night I don’t think anybody truly anticipated the intensity of the storm that hit the Washington metropolitan area. The devastation caused by the strong winds still has many utilities working around the clock trying to restore power to many residents in the area.

While we had enough flashlights and batteries, basic necessities, battery powered radios and a generator on standby to weather the storm; there were two things that were lacking. We hadn’t had the foresight to fill up the car with gas and we didn’t have cash on hand! We hadn’t foreseen the impact of the power outage would have on gas stations and banks in our immediate area.

Last Saturday, we were literally running on fumes when we finally found a working gas station with gasoline for sale. With gas in the tank, then we were able to drive further to find a bank with power.

So, what did we learn from this experience? Basically, to prepare for the unexpected!

And some additional tips?

How was your experience during the storm? We would love to hear from you!

About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.