The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent out a press release today urging all federal firearms licensees (FFLs) and federal explosives licensees and permittees (FEL/Ps) to prepare for the looming tempest known as “Hurricane Sandy.”
Essentially, the ATF wants to ensure that gun shop owners and dealers along the East Coast are ready to lock down their inventory and facilities should this storm hit their locality.
After having whipped through the Bahamas, leaving at least 39 dead, Sandy is headed northbound toward the Southeast United States, and then on a trajectory along the eastern coastline up as far as New York or New Jersey and hitting as far west as Ohio.
Though Sandy has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, what worries weather forecasters is the potential for Sandy to combine with two other powerful weather systems, a nor’easter coming south from Canada and wintry winds moving in from the west.
Consequently, Meteorologists are dubbing the storm as a “pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster” or “Frankenstorm.”
“It’s looking like a very serious storm that could be historic,” Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground, said on weather.com. “Mother Nature is not saying, ‘Trick or treat.’ It’s just going to give tricks.”
Masters along with others have compared the storm to the “Perfect Storm” that hit off the coast of New England in 1991, which hit a less populated area than what Sandy is expected to impact.
“The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I’m thinking a billion” this time, Masters said. “Yeah, it will be worse.”
So, if you’re a gun shop owner what can you do to protect your assets?
The ATF has a bunch of different resources for you to take a look at that will help you prepare, such as the brochure “Disaster Preparedness for Federal Firearm Licensees,” which you can download here and videos and Online Education Seminars or Webinars, which you can watch here (also, see video below).
ATF also recommends FFLs to call their local ATF field office with questions or to call the ATF Firearms Industry Programs Branch at 202-648-7190. For FEL/Ps, that number is 202-648-7120.
More general information on disaster planning for everyone, not just FFLs, can be found at www.ready.gov (this is a pretty good link to check out).
Which brings up a question, as a gun owner, what do you do to prepare for natural disasters?
Personally, I’ve had zero experience dealing with Hurricanes or Tornados or other disasters that would put my property and family at risk (Growing up in Buffalo, NY, we just got a lot of snow. A lot of freaking snow! You could survive most winters with a shovel, a pair of snow boots, a heavy jacket and a “six-pack of beer.”)
Those with wisdom and experience please share your thoughts below. And those within the pathway of Sandy, please be safe!