Canadians are bracing themselves for Hurricane Sandy as the post-tropical storm is en route to strike the U.S. eastern seaboard and Canada Monday night. A number of organizations are urging individuals to prepare for the worst, as the storm is expected to bring heavy rain fall, strong wind gusts and the possibility of blackouts.

Tips for individuals

The Canadian Red Cross began gathering extra supplies at its Scarborough warehouse Sunday to ensure volunteers were equipped to respond in the event of any weather-related emergencies.

The agency is urging Canadians to prepare themselves for power outages or evacuations that could accompany the storm in the following ways:

Water: The organization recommends storing at least two litres of water for drinking and an additional two litres for washing.

Food: Keep at least a 72-hour supply of non-perishable food for each person in your family.

Batteries: Ensure there’s enough spare batteries for flashlights and a radio.

Other: Have a first-aid kit, cash in small bills and extra keys for your house and car on hand. 

Communities bracing for the storm

Meanwhile, some Ontario communities are taking their own actions to protect themselves against the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Toronto: Toronto Pearson International Airport cancelled hundreds of flights, most bound for cities in the northeastern U.S., in anticipation of the severe weather Monday morning. Travellers are being urged to check their flight’s status before heading to the airport, as approximately 20 per cent of all flights have been scrapped due to weather concerns.

Early morning drivers are being warned about their Tuesday commute as the majority of the 30 millimetres of rainfall is expected between midnight and 6 a.m. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority warns of potential flooding of underpasses and other low-lying areas. 

Fort Erie: Town road crews are checking roadside ditches for blockages and utilities staff is ensuring pumping stations and back-up power are ready for any outages.

Markham: City staff is using social media to keep residents updated on storm updates and asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel for the next 48 hours.

Halton Region: Conservation Halton reported that the region saw 40 millimetres of rainfall over the weekend while another 20 to 30 millimetres is expected for Monday evening. The agency is warning resident to keep away from streams and rivers.

Peel Region: Residents are being warned to stay off certain gravel roads with the windy weather taking a toll on road conditions.

Other tips readers have offered their own tips on how to prepare for Sandy:

  • A fondue pot can come in handy for heating food and water during a power outage, however be sure there’s enough fuel on hand.
  • Solar lights for the garden can be useful to light up small rooms, such as a bathroom.