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Hurricane Sandy storm preparations to take now

Sandy is knocking on the door, and I've got most of the hatches battened. Have you taken down your hanging planters? Be sure to put away anything that could fly around the yard Wizard of Oz style -- deck railing planters,  patio furniture, umbrellas and flagpoles, too.

Then make sure you have enough batteries, candles, nonperishable food. Powdered milk is good, too; you can mix it with bottled water as you need it and not worry about spoilage.

I've filled plastic zip bags with water and used them to fill in space gaps in the freezer. They'll help keep things cold should the power go out, and when they defrost, we'll have a stash of clean water, should we need it.  Bathtub is full of clean water, too, just in case.

We've had no luck finding a generator, but it serves us right for waiting for the last minute. I finally gassed up the car after the first two gas stations I visited were out of gas. Last stop: The ATM. If power goes out, not only will credit card machines not be working, but neither will ATMs. Cash will be king.

My colleague, food writer Erica Marcus, has shared her wise food-safety tips and guidelines here.

 If I missed any tips, please share them in the comments below. We're in this together. Good luck and stay safe, everyone!

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