As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the northeastern United States, we here in the Northern Plains can sympathize, at least to a point.

No, we don't get hurricanes here, and we wouldn't know what to do if we did.

But we can get tornadoes in the summer and blizzards in the winter, both of which require some serious preparation on our part.

Just last week we had Winter Weather Preparedness Day in South Dakota, much of it involving making sure our vehicles, homes and selves are prepared for when winter weather hits.

But I can't imagine living in New York City and facing the prospect of 11-foot tidal waves threatening Lower Manhattan and the surrounding area.

Our nephew and his family live in Hoboken, NJ, on the fifth floor of an apartment building. They've laid in a food supply and as far as I know will stay put.

They might have to, with the mass transit systems shut down and a couple of the major tunnels closed.

In the meantime they, and we will hope for the best, meaning the least amount of life and property loss possible.