Hurricane Sandy
A truck drives through water pushed over a road by Hurricane Sandy in Southampton, New York, on October 29. (World Vision)

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Hurricane Sandy is gaining strength as it plows through the Atlantic. Rain and storm surges are already pounding coastal areas in advance of the Monday night landfall, now predicted to be somewhere between Delaware and central New Jersey.

“One of the biggest storms of our lifetimes is unfolding right now,” said Kelly Cass, anchor at the Weather Channel. Forecasters expect Sandy to merge with two other winter systems, creating a rare hybrid “super storm.”

Winds of tropical storm force extend nearly 500 miles from Sandy’s center, likely affecting more than 50 million people on the East Coast and inland states. Thousands evacuated from coastal communities, and governors across the region declared states of emergency.

Meanwhile, New York City suspended subway, bus and commuter train service. The New York Stock Exchange is also closed.

World Vision has pre-positioned 1,500 kits of relief supplies in its New York City warehouse in the Bronx. Flood clean-up kits, personal hygiene items and emergency food kits are safely stockpiled, while staff evacuated the facility early on Monday. More supplies are being shipped from Dallas.

Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s domestic disaster response director, says with creeks and rivers in the region already saturated, it is critical to be ready to respond in the event of severe flooding.

“Hurricane Sandy could be one of the most devastating storms we’ve responded to in decades,” says Freeman. “We’re asking our supporters to pray that the impact isn’t as severe as some forecasters are predicting, but World Vision is prepared to respond if we do see the worst.”

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