I decided to organize my emergency supplies.
The Gothamist is talking about a possible preemptive power blackout by Con Ed to prevent damage in case of flooding in Lower Manhattan. This is a reasonable plan, a storm surge of salt water is very destructive of electrical infrastructure. The salt makes water conductive. Think of all the damage that snow melting salt does every year. Now imagine the downtown electrical grid soaking in salty conductive ocean water. I was pleased when last year, Irene didn’t require an electrical shut down. I think a total NYC blackout from hurricane Sandy unlikely, the areas of the city distant from the ocean and on higher ground (like midtown Manhattan) should not be badly affected. It all depends on how the weather behaves, but the forecasts look ominous, with that approaching cold front boxing in all the warm moist air and energy Sandy is bringing up from the South.
At least get batteries for your flashlights, and stockpile some water in pots and pans and your bathtub. As far as I know the NYC water supply is gravity fed for buildings below 6 stories. Higher than that an electrical pump is needed to pump it into a water tower. Tap water may become contaminated in a flood.
Charge your cell phones and whatever electronic devices you have while the power is still on. Cell towers require power, so cell phone communication will probably be crappy, or non-existent. The same goes for the internet. Land lines should fare better. Hopefully you have a battery-powered AM FM radio somewhere in your apartment.
You may find it necessary to use candles. Be very careful, never put a candle on a shelf where it can ignite the shelf above. Keep candles well away from any drapery or where anyone could brush up against them. Glass enclosed devotional candles are fairly safe if you make sure that they cannot tip over and are well away from anything flammable.
Your gas service may be unaffected, but your boiler probably requires an electrical pilot. So, no heat or hot water.
I recommend masking tape if you wish to tape your windows. Almost any other tape will be a nightmare to remove after you find out that you really didn’t need it.
During the first evening of the NE Blackout of 2003 the East Village turned into a massive party in the dark. Restaurants cooked up and gave away massive amounts of food before it spoiled from lack of refrigeration. Much drinking before the ice melts happened, but it was totally peaceful. See my video below. This year it may be wet cold and Halloween. It will be interesting for sure.
This is my video about the massive 2003 Blackout and how it affected my East Village neighborhood.