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Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall by early evening near the New Jersey-Delaware border. Forecasts from the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service said the Category 1 hurricane is moving northwest at 28 mph - up from 18 mph a few hours earlier. At 2:00 p.m. EDT the storm was centered approximately 175 miles south-southeast of New York City, or about 110 miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was also still registering winds of up to 90 miles an hour. A Category 1 hurricane carries winds of 74 miles an hour to 95 miles an hour.

Two cold fronts, one west of Sandy and the other north, are expected to meet up with the storm and turn it into a nor’easter type of event, revitalizing its reach and intensity as it makes it way further inland and to the north. This convergence could bring close to a foot of rain in some places plus the potential for a 4 to 11 foot storm surge across other northeastern coastal areas. The danger of the storm is hardly limited to coastal areas as the storm is expected to produce up to 2-3 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

High, sustained winds remain a concern in areas along Hurricane Sandy’s projected path. Widespread power outages may result, potentially leaving residents without electricity for extended periods of time as workers must wait for winds to die down before safely addressing downed lines and trees. Inland flooding, as a result of storm surge and heavy rains, is also a continued concern as these rains could also saturate the ground, causing trees to topple over, and possibly knocking out power to many as well.

If you are in the potentially impacted area, here are the key reminders Right Now:

  • Follow the direction of local officials – if told to evacuate, do so immediately. Sign up for Alert Boston
  • Know the forecast for your area – Sandy is a large storm with potential impacts from wind, coastal flooding, inland flooding, rain, and snow.  Listen to your NOAA weather radio and local news reports, or visit ( on your phone) for the conditions in your area. See additional useful links below.
  • Make final preparations – If you’re further inland, now is the time to make final preparations. 
  • Be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies for you, your family and family pets for at least 72 hours.
  • Remember food safety – have a cooler on hand to keep food cold; and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.
  • Have some extra cash on hand in case local ATMs are down because of power outages.  Typically if ATMs are down, credit card machines may be down and stores will only be able to accept cash.
  • Check on your neighbor – make sure they’re ready too.
  • Have an adequate communication plan - be sure friends and family know how to contact you. Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not get through.

As of mid-day Monday, Hurricane Sandy had already knocked out power to more than half a million customers in several states. Be prepared if your power goes out:

  • Ensure you have a battery-powered or hand cranked radio to listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Have flashlights or electric lanterns on hand to provide light; candles may add a spark of adventure during power failures, but they are dangerous fire hazards.  Flashlights and electric lanterns require batteries so consider, during extended outages, keeping a supply of extra batteries.
  • Remember, microwaves will not work! It’s important to keep at least three day supply of water and ofnonperishable food such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, milk, and soup. Additionally, have a hand-operated can opener available (that works).

Actions to take during a power outage:

  • If using a portable generator during a power outage, it should always be operated outside, away from doors and windows to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage. 
  • Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home's electrical system - they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger. 
  • When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances, to help eliminate problems that could occur if there's a sharp increase in demand. If you think electric power has been restored to your area but your home is still without power, call your local power company.

Action to take to get ready for snow or winter weather:

  • Ensure you have a battery-powered or hand cranked radio to listen for emergency updates and news reports. 
  • Most importantly, minimize travel as blizzard-like conditions may arise making it difficult to see when driving.
  • Ensure you have snow shovels and other snow removal equipment on hand.
  • Have sufficient heating fuel and store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.

Key Efforts

The President has issued emergency declarations for more than 10 states and the District of Columbia.  This action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to provide assistance for required emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety in each of these states.

Along with its federal partners, FEMA remains in close coordination with states and tribal governments and continues to coordinate resources to provide support as needed. FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams and liaison officers have been deployed to potentially affected states along the East Coast.  Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and teams are in place or are en route to Delaware, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania to support the states with secure and non-secure voice, video, and information services, operations, and logistics support to state response operations, and with any potential requests for assistance.

Additionally, below is a brief recap of what FEMA and its federal partners have been doing:

  • The American Red Cross has mobilized hundreds of its disaster workers, readying shelters and coordinating efforts with community partners in potentially affected states.  To find an open Red Cross shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane app or visit
  • To support potential pre- and post storm hospital evacuations, in coordination with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through Emergency Support Function 8, FEMA has the capability to activate ambulance contracts to support state requirements to evacuate patients if needed and requested.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has deployed temporary emergency power teams, consisting of planning and response teams and resource support staff to assist with critical infrastructure. 
  • The Department of Energy continues to work with states and local partners to pre-mobilize storm and field personnel to assist in power restoration efforts. 
  • FEMA and the Department of Defense are establishing Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. and Lakehurst, New Jersey to position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas, should they be needed.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is monitoring the storm and will take steps to prepare and protect FAA facilities and equipment that are in the projected path of the storm, including control towers, radars and navigational aids. The FAA's top operational priority is to quickly re-establish air traffic service to support disaster relief efforts.

Prepare for hazards in YOUR area

Although you may not be in Sandy’s path, now is a good time to review the potential hazards where you live. For example, this weekend’s reported earthquake off the coast of Canada which “triggered” a tsunami warning in Hawaii reminds us of how disasters can strike at anytime and anywhere.

Knowing likely risks for your area, whether wildfiresearthquakes or tornadoes and knowing what to do when a disaster strikes is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds matter. Local emergency management offices can help you identify hazards in your community and can outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Be sure to share this information with family, neighbors, colleagues and friends – talking about preparedness helps everyone be ready, “just in case.” Use the links below to make your family, business and community safer, more resilient and better prepared for any disaster event.

Useful links

What to do before, during and after a hurricane or severe storm

Latest Sandy forecast from the National Hurricane Center

Community preparedness tools and resources

Community Preparedness Toolkit:

Citizen Corps Program:

Youth Preparedness:

Business Preparedness:

Neighbors Helping Neighbors:

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