(NBC) -- Strong winds, rain and a rising surf from Hurricane Sandy are already lashing the Florida coast.
Across the Caribbean Sandy has left dozens of people dead.
It ripped through houses, downed trees and flooded entire communities.
Models have the storm smashing right into the Northeast in a matter of days.
Emergency workers say anyone from Virginia up through New England should get ready now.
Sandy is expected to bring unusually high tides, intense waves and coastal flooding.
Further inland it could down trees and knock out power.
Energy companies are already calling for back up.
Memories of Hurricane Irene, which resulted in billions in damage and left many without power for days last year, have people determined not to get caught off guard.
Maryland and Virginia have already declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm.
People are being told to prepare for the worst: Five to seven days without power and the loss of fresh water.