Flickr / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
As Hurricane Sandy heads toward a planned landfall Monday afternoon, New York City has shut down.
Current Hurricane Sandy Details
With current wind speeds between 75 and 90 miles per hour, Sandy is expected to strengthen once it hits the East Coast, knocking out power lines and dropping 5 to 8 inches of rain over a 48-hour period in a swath of destruction that will affect 50 million people.
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The New York subway system is closed, as is the New York Stock Exchange, schools and many businesses. Still more will shutter on Monday afternoon as the rains begin.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of 375,000 people in downtown Manhattan and low-lying areas of Queens.
"If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," he said. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."
Officials expect storm surges along the water to reach 11 feet, amplified by the full moon.
Reports are coming in that Battery Park in Lower Manhattan's Financial District is already flooding.
Prepare for the Storm: What and For What
New Yorkers who haven't yet made preparations for the storm should do so as soon as possible, before it's too difficult to go outside. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency supplies should include:
* Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
* Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
* Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* First aid kit
* Whistle to signal for help
* Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
* Manual can opener for food
* Local maps
* Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Also stock up on prescription medications before all the pharmacies close.
The worst should be over by Tuesday night, but rain could continue through the rest of the week. Stock up and stay indoors if possible, and wait until local news says the storm has passed.
Projected Path Maps