Last year, Bob Mateff, the director of Northampton County's Emergency Management Services, had to contend with a hurricane, a blizzard and a flood.
"This one appears to be all three rolled into one," he said, referring to Hurricane Sandy, which could very well bring heavy winds, flooding and even some snow into the region next week.
The trouble, he said, is that no one knows what the storm will be like at this point, making it hard to predict trouble spots for next week.
"We could be looking at flash-flooding. We could be looking at small stream flooding. We could be looking at river flooding," Mateff said.
He said the county is advising all its municipalities to be prepared for the storm by taking steps such as cleaning out drains and making sure generators are charged.
And Nazareth area municipalities are doing just that.
According to Mike Rinker, chairman of the Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors, public works employees on Friday were checking drains for clogs, cutting down low-hanging tree branches and noting droopy wires.
In anticipation of flooding and power outages, the Upper Nazareth Fire Department was preparing its pumps and generators, according to Jeff Fassl, the department's president. In addition, he added, several generators from Northampton County Emergency Management Services were transferred to the firehouse on Newport Avenue.
"We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," Fassl said in an e-mail to Patch Friday night. "We are preparing earlier so we are not caught off guard. With the forecast of a mega-storm, pre-planning is essential."
Rinker, a Northampton County 911 dispatcher, is also the emergency management coordinator for Nazareth Borough. He said the same preparations were taking place in the borough, adding that generators at Vigilance Hose Co. No. 1 were checked to ensure the garage doors will be operational -- allowing fire apparatus to leave -- if the power goes out.
Nazareth Mayor Fred Daugherty Jr. said the borough's police and fire departments will be fully staffed in the coming days. He advised residents "to avoid travel when it's not absolutely required." If you can't sit tight, Daugherty added, "don't drive through standing water."
In Lower Nazareth Township, Manager Timm Tenges said preparations mirrored those in the borough and Upper Nazareth.
"We're all in it together," Tenges said of Lower Nazareth and its neighbors.
In addition to removing leaves from drains and testing generators, Tenges explained, employees made sure barricade lights worked, equipment is ready to roll, and chainsaws are oiled.
"We want to make sure we can have a quick response to any incidents," he said, adding, "Typically, this stuff is at the ready. But you just want to make sure."
Tenges said the township also makes sure materials are on hand for quick repairs to washed-out roads.
Mateff, the director of Northampton County's Emergency Services, cautioned residents to pay attention to weather forecasts, to make sure they have food, water and batteries, and to consider early evacuation if they live in a flood-prone area.
Mateff said his staff is working with utilities PPL and First Energy, as well as LANTA, to make preparations. The county will increase its staff at the 911 center during the storm and set up an emergency operations center on Monday.