Time To Prepare For Hurricane Sandy Is Now - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Time To Prepare For Hurricane Sandy Is Now

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PHILADELPHIA -

It's becoming more certainty than chance that Hurricane Sandy is setting its sights on us for a possible direct impact.

It's pounding parts of Florida now after killing dozens of people in the Bahamas.

As the storm continues to churn north, the countdown begins. How bad will it be, and who will be worst hit?

The main message is start getting ready now. Make sure you and your family are ready. Get out a pen and paper to write down the phone numbers you'll need and prepare a plan before Sandy hits.

The storm has already pushed some emergency management officials at the shore to talk evacuations.

Right now, there are voluntary evacuation orders for Cape May County's barrier islands. Those become mandatory Sunday morning.

There will probably be evacuation orders for other shore counties soon. We'll keep you posted.

For those people still at the shore, this weekend will be spent preparing for Sandy's arrival and getting out of harm's way before the storm arrives.

Boat owners are pulling their vessels out of the water, racing to beat Sandy's expected powerful punch.

The already-deadly hurricane expected to be a Halloween horror will be hitting the Jersey Shore with 70-plus mile an hour damaging winds.

Contractors are stocking up on plywood to board up area stores. Homeowners in are also putting precautions in place. Some homes are already boarded up.

And the residents have rolled out in advance of Wildwood's mandatory evacuation Sunday night.

Power outages are expected to result from sandy's fury. Utility companies are telling coastal residents to prepare to be without electricity for seven to 10 days.

At Home Depot, shoppers were stocking up Friday. Bottled water and batteries were in demand. And since two shipments of 155-generators sold out Friday, flashlights are a hot commodity.

Meanwhile, residents down in Sussex County, Delaware, are taking the storm warning seriously. That's because they saw first-hand the damage Hurricane Irene did last year in Lewes – especially after a tornado touched down.

They learned hard lessons, and won't be making the same mistakes this time. And they hope you heed the warnings, too.

Some of the advice from these hurricane veterans was to keep yourself connected so you know if there is a tornado watch. And they said call your contractor before the storm to make sure he's available if you need him.

When Sandy makes landfall, it's going to pack a punch that we will feel here in Pennsylvania, too.

So, everyone is getting ready, from city officials to work crews to residents.

After touring areas devastated by Hurricane Irene and tropical storm lee last year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett advised residents to get ahead of Sandy and prepare now.

At a press conference Friday in Bloomsburg, Corbett said the storm could affect the entire state with a worst case scenario bringing rain to one side and snow to the other.

The Delaware Valley took quite a punch Irene, so this time folks don't want to take any chances. Many shoppers where out at the Acme in King of Prussia loading up on supplies.

PennDOT is mobilizing its fleet of 200 trucks. Crews have been clearing out storm drains for two days to make sure drains clear of debris and branches that prohibit water draining and can cause flooding on roads.

PennDOT's traffic management center is open 24-7 with 300 cameras keeping a watchful eye.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stressed the importance of being prepared for the worst. Anyone living in a flood-prone area is being advised to leave that area by Sunday afternoon.

Officials want everyone to stock up on flashlights and batteries. In South Philadelphia, people were stocking up for the storm. Our cameras found these people at Home Depot, buying all the essentials.

The Red Cross has 15 trucks loaded with supplies ready to be deployed to high-risk areas. If you need Red Cross assistance, their phone number is 215-299-4000.

Here are some more numbers to keep handy: PECO's emergency number is 1-800-841-4141; and the Philadelphia Water Department's number is 215-685-6300.

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