Syracuse braces for Hurricane Sandy by stockpiling supplies

Supermarkets saw shortages today as students and locals gathered water, batteries and groceries in anticipation of the storm. Check out our tips for surviving Sandy, and make sure you're prepared.

Forecasts for Hurricane Sandy’s arrival and potential danger it could cause up and down the East Coast began late last week, but it wasn’t until Monday that the storm’s threat became real for Syracuse University students.

Around 10:30 a.m. the university issued a campus-wide email via SU News/Weather Alert informing students, staff and faculty that classes would be canceled from 1:40 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, through Tuesday, Oct. 30. To prepare, both students and local residents hit the stores to stock up on supplies before the worst of the weather.

At around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, employees at the Dewitt Wegmans at 6789 East Genesee St. restocked shelves with 24-pack cases and gallons of water, trying to keep up with demand. Most people left the store with at least a case of water.

“Do you think we have enough?” said one woman to her daughter, motioning to several gallons of water in her cart.

In the past 48 hours, water, milk, eggs, bread, cereal, peanut butter and batteries have been the most frequently purchased items at Wegmans stores, said Wegmans Director of Media Relations Jo Natale. Natale said many stores have sold out of those items, but they are constantly getting new shipments and restocking to keep up with demand.

“We’re going to continue to try and keep all of our stores replenished,” Natale said. “There’s been a lot of ‘stock-up’ shopping over the weekend and today.” She recommended calling ahead to see if stores have the particular item consumers are looking for prior to arriving at the store.

The Tops Markets at 620 Nottingham Road near South Campus saw similar shortages around 4 p.m. Monday. Customer Operations Manager Stacey Pickard declined to comment on the store’s conditions throughout the day, but many shelves had been emptied and lines of customers waiting to check out were much longer than normal.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Liz Quigley, a nurse who lives around the corner from the Nottingham Road location. She laughed as she took an iPhone photo of empty shelves that should have held cases of water.

Quigley noted, however, that she really wasn’t worried about the impact of the storm. “There’s worse things that could happen,” she said.

The Rite Aid in the Nottingham Road plaza was also busy. Rite Aid cashier Korrie Clark said that the store had sold out of flashlights and water before noon, and that cashiers saw several other items frequently bought throughout the day.

“Batteries, snacks and, to be quite honest, beer,” Clark said. “There’s been a lot of students buying beer.”

Next store at Skytop Liquors, employee Jeff Snyder said he didn’t have time to talk because the store was busier than normal. Waiting in line to pay were many students, bottles in hand, who seemed to be stocking up for some extracurricular activities on their day (and night) off from classes.

Below are the phone numbers of several area grocery stores to check what they have in stock before leaving the house:

Tops Markets, 620 Nottingham Road, (315) 446-1652

Wegmans, 6789 East Genesee Street, (315) 446-1180

Tops Markets, 2120 West Genesee Street, (315) 488-2989

Wegmans, 3325 West Genesee Street, (315) 487-1581


Compiling a safety kit

Before the weather gets too harsh, it’s a good idea to assemble items that can be used in case of emergency or even just in case the power goes out. The national public service announcement campaign, The Ready Campaign, recommends several items to have going into the storm:

  • Flashlight or lantern (with extra batteries)
  • Candles and matches (but keep them in areas far from anything that could catch fire and don’t use them AT ALL in the dorms)
  • Radio (you never know when your Internet or TV will go out)
  • Bottled water (one gallon per person per each day)
  • Food that doesn't need refrigeration like protein bars, peanut butter, bread and cereal
  • Basic first aid kit (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, asprin, etc.)
  • Charged electronic devices (cell phone, laptop, etc.)


Staying safe during the storm

  • STAY INSIDE. Do not leave your dorm or apartment or drive anywhere unless the winds and rain have stopped completely.
  • If you need to leave the house, be aware of downed power lines and trees.
  • If the power goes out, be careful of the food you eat from the refrigerator or freezer. Generally, the rule is, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • Turn refrigerators/freezers up to their highest settings and open the door as infrequently as possible.
  • If the electricity’s been out for more than four hours, discard perishables in the refrigerator.
  • If the freezer is full, the food inside should be OK for about 48 hours. Half full, only 24 hours.
  • Even if you have a gas stove, be careful using it if the power goes out, especially if you’re burning candles.
  • Listen to the radio or watch TV to get up-to-date information.

Information via


If you’re bored

  • Play card or board games with your roommates. Without electronics, it’ll be a good opportunity to spend some (most likely) much-needed time together.
  • Join together with your roommates to eat all of the ice cream in your fridge. It’s going to melt if the power goes out anyway.
  • Follow Sandy’s progress on the Internet. We recommend: #SandyAtSU, The NewsHouse staff’s songs to survive the storm and Hurricane Sandy memes
  • SLEEP. This is a rare commodity at this point in the semester.

And if you get really bored, catch up on homework. God knows there’ll be a few people who are smart enough to take advantage of this hurrication.

Never seen a shelf like that,

Never seen a shelf like that, not something you could ever anticipate for!

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.