It looks like Sandy is gonna be a heart breaker. If it gets really bad and your drinking water is contaminated, remember that the water in your hot water tank is potable.
You can access the water by opening the drain valve- do it slowly as water may gush out, see picture.
BE CAREFUL BECAUSE IF YOU HAVEN’T TURNED OFF THE HEAT THIS WATER CAN BE VERY HOT
So I recommend that you also turn off the heating for the tank either by lowering the thermostats if you can or by turning off the control valve. If any of these are rusted and you can’t move them then turn off the gas valve. If you do that make sure you have someone who knows what they’re doing there with you when you need to turn it all back on.
Another thing that you need to do, probably do it now BEFORE the water becomes contaminated, is close the cold water valve. This will prevent contaminated water from entering the tank.
If you do close the cold water valve then don’t turn on your hot water because you’ll empty the tank. You’ll still be able to use the cold water and all the appliances, like the commode etc, that use cold water.
I hope you all stay safe and that we all come trough this healthy and none the worse for wear.