The countdown to landfall has begun. As you watch the hurricane's track, start stockpiling the equipment you'll need to prepare and repair. Get the house and yard buttoned up. These items are available at home centers and hardware stores; prices vary.
Lantern The SwissGear rechargeable lantern has two fluorescent tubes (turn on one or both, depending on your lighting needs), an LED night light and a built-in compass. Recharge it from an outlet or in the car. Hang it by the bail or stand it on a table. It's 11 ½ inches tall. Go to swisscampinggear.com or call toll-free 1-888-797-2769.
Extension cord You'll want the heavy-duty variety to power appliances with a generator.
Power up The Storm Station All-in-One Emergency Power Station from Black & Decker is an AM/FM/weather radio, power inverter and detachable flashlight. The 25-watt battery-powered inverter powers small household appliances such as a cordless phone, and the 12-volt recharging port charges cell phones. You keep the station plugged into an electrical outlet so its battery is thoroughly charged and ready to go. A locator light goes on automatically when the power goes out so you can find the Storm Station. It's at home centers, mass merchants, hardware stores and Amazon.com for about $100.
Pry bar Another tool you'll be glad to have if your home is seriously damaged.
Duct tape Not for the windows. Use it to wrap plastic around items you want to protect from moisture, or as a handy holder for general repairs.
Basic hand tools Have a set of basic tools ready — hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, nails and screws — to make repairs. Charge cordless tools before the storm hits.
Fire extinguisher The last thing you want during a hurricane is a fire. Don't use candles or open flames if the power goes out.
Light the way Invest in a couple of battery-powered backup lights that come on when the power goes out.
Flashlight One per person, with plenty of batteries to last several days. Or get the kind you power by hand-cranking.
Tarps Have one on hand for emergency roof repairs.
Storm tracker TV/radio Combination TV/radio picks up weather and NOAA frequencies and has AC/DC power adapters. If power goes out, hand-crank it to power the radio and halogen spotlight.
Plywood If you don't protect your windows before the storm, you may need plywood afterward to cover broken panes. Approximately half an inch thick; thicker is better.
Handsaw No power? No problem. Trim debris by hand.
Chain saw Learn how to use one safely to trim branches and cut fallen trees.
Light where you need it Pick up a couple of battery-powered touch lights for instant, portable illumination. No wiring or outlet needed. Some have a magnet on the back so they can hang on the refrigerator. Forget about candles; they're a fire hazard.
For cleanup Bleach, mops, sponges, rags, long-handled scrapers.