As I write this article, we are all wondering what Hurricane Sandy could bring to the populous region of the Northeastern United States. There are talks of a “super storm” potentially worse than Hurricane Irene and 1991’s “perfect storm.” The talk of the cause of this unusual “super storm” is the arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm, possibly causing up to 12 inches of rain in some areas, as well as several feet of snowfall in the Appalachian Mountains. Just when it does not seem that this “super storm” could get any worse, Sandy’s ETA just happens to coincide with a full moon in the spirit of Halloween for what others have dubbed “Frankenstorm.” The full moon means potentially higher than usual tides.

New York and other big cities closed their transit systems and schools and ordered residents of low-lying areas to evacuate before a storm surge that is predicted to be over 10 feet. The New York Stock Exchange said it would close its trading floor on Monday for the first time since Hurricane Gloria in 1985. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of New York City, from parts of lower Manhattan to outer boroughs that are home to several hundred thousand or more people.

Even with all the discussion of the severity of this storm, there will be skeptics that refuse to buy into the hype. While it may be over a day until we know who is right, the reality is that it is better to be cautious; be prepared and plan for the worst while hoping for the best.

Final preparations are underway, and in addition to the usual preparations, residents and business owners are urged to take dated photographs and videos of any areas of their property before and after the storm. This documentary evidence can speak thousands of words following the event, particularly in any insurance context. While we wonder what Sandy will bring, our thoughts and prayers go out to all who may feel the effects of this storm, as we are reminded of the unpredictability of Mother Nature.