THURSDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Having socked Jamaica and Cuba, the late-season Hurricane Sandy now has the United States in her sights, and officials urge East Coast residents to start making emergency storm plans now.
For starters, stock up on prescription medicines, special medical supplies, nonperishable foods -- baby formula and pet foods, too -- and emergency essentials in case the powerful storm knocks out power in your region or makes travel impossible, experts advise.
"Have a family communications plan as well, in case you get separated during the storm," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Decide where to meet and how you will remain in contact.
"Be prepared to be self-sufficient for one to five days without access to grocery stores," Glatter added.
Tracking Sandy's movements Thursday morning from the northeast coast of Cuba toward the central Bahamas, forecasters said tropical storm winds could hit Florida by Thursday night. Over the weekend, the storm -- currently a strong Category 2 that has caused two deaths -- could deliver a one-two punch, battering the northeast coast with high winds and torrential rain while dumping heavy snow inland in the Appalachians and western Pennsylvania, forecasters said.
David Bernard, chief meteorologist for CBS News' Miami station, said a confluence of events could potentially turn this storm into one rivaling the 1991 Halloween Nor'easter, which killed 13 people and became the subject of the best-selling book and movie "The Perfect Storm."
Referring to the powerful hurricane now in the Bahamas, Bernard said, "That's a lot of warm air, a lot of heat, a lot of energy and of course we're deep into fall now and we have an unusual strong jet stream dip with winter-like cold air, and you put those two things together, that's the possibi
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