Millions Prepare as Hurricane Sandy Starts to Slam the East Coast

Residents stock up on emergency supplies, while evacuations ordered, public transit shut down

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If you evacuate, Glatter said it's important to have a ready-made kit or "go bag," including extra eyeglasses, sanitized baby bottles and diapers. Diabetic patients should keep extra insulin on hand and a ready supply of snacks in case their sugar levels drop, he said. Store insulin or any liquid antibiotics on ice or cold packs during power failures, he suggested.

Patients who use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may need an alternative power source during the storm. This includes a CPAP battery pack, he said.

To be on the safe side, assemble a one- to two-week supply of prescription medications, Glatter said. And "stay connected -- have a list of your doctors with their contact information."

Keep emergency phone numbers near every phone and in your cellphone "contacts" list.

"Have coins and cash available, too," Glatter said.

In terms of hurricane supplies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested the following:

  • Three to five days' worth of water, about five gallons per person, in clean containers and three to five days' worth of nonperishable food.
  • Well-stocked first-aid kits for your home and car. The car also needs maps, food, blankets and basic tools such as pliers and tape.
  • Charged cellphones, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
  • Extra blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Soaps, toothpaste and other personal hygiene necessities. Also, paper towels or baby wipes for personal cleaning if showering or bathing isn't possible.
  • Water-purifying supplies such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented household chlorine bleach.
  • A fire extinguisher that all in the family know how to use.

But no matter how hard the winds howl, "Don't panic -- try to take things one step at a time," said Glatter. "Practice slow abdominal breathing if you feel overwhelmed during the storm."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about emergency preparedness.

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