Faced with the growing inevitability of the most forceful October storms in at least a generation, people from North Carolina to New England and as far west as Ohio did all they could Friday to get ready.

Emergencies were declared, line crews were summoned, shelters were prepared and command centers opened. People stockpiled food, bought generators and chain saws, taped windows against the wind’s blast, and prepared to hunker down as Hurricane Sandy conspired with the jet stream and a nor’easter to deliver several days of misery and destruction to the most populated section of the nation.