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A woman walks her dog by sandbags in Battery Park in downtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy made its approach in New York October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, strengthened on Monday after hundreds of thousands moved to higher ground, public transport shut down and the U.S. stock market suffered its first weather-related closure in 27 years.ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

Cooking, storm-watching and partying? How are you preparing for the storm?

Are you prepared to weather the potentially disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy?

As the monster storm makes its way north through the eastern coast of the United States into central Canada later this week, emergency preparedness officials are urging people to brace themselves for possible power outages, forced evacuations and flooding.

The Canadian Red Cross recommends storing enough emergency food, water and other supplies to last you and your family for 72 hours. This includes keeping non-perishable food items and a can opener; two litres of drinking water and two litres of water for washing per person per day; portable flashlights and a radio; a first aid kit; and cash.

But just because you're getting ready for the worst doesn't mean you can't make the most of a soggy situation. We rounded up a few ideas:

  • Eat well. As The Washington Post reports, those who aren’t keen on three days’ worth of Chef Boyardee and baked beans are busy braising meats and cooking up casseroles that they can reheat on a gas grill. (Helpful tips: Lower the temperature in your fridge to make it extra cold; use up the food in your fridge before cooking items from your freezer and pantry; and take an inventory of the contents of your freezer and stack them in the order of what you need to eat first.)
  • Stay dry. There’s no need to step outside. Storm-watchers can view the darkening sky via The New York Times website, which shows live images taken from cameras set up on the 51st floor of the newspaper’s office. The photos are updated every 60 seconds, so you don’t miss a thing.
  • Snuggle up and take advantage of the situation.As BuzzFeed points out, opportunists are using the storm as an excuse to find sex and romance. As one online proposition put it: “Let’s prepare for our doom by getting a drink.”
  • Meanwhile, others are throwing hurricane parties, where presumably, they’ll be serving Dark and Stormy cocktails.

So how are you getting ready for the storm?

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