We rode out Hurricane Irene with only a little water in the basement, so I'm feeling incredibly grateful for my good luck. We were, however, prepared for the worst! Here are my suggestions:
1) Put candles in 2 or 3 central locations and place a full box of matches with each stash of candles.
2) Similarly, put flashlights in obvious locations. We have a lot of handcrank flashlights so I didn't have to stock up on batteries.
3) Catch up on laundry before the storm hits!
4) Cook plenty of food that won't go bad quickly (no mayo or sour cream!) and tastes OK at room temperature. PB&J sandwiches are probably the most obvious choice, but we also had hummus, crackers, cheese, carrot sticks, a pasta salad, a potato fry-up, and leek fritters.
5) If you're worried that the basement might flood, move your valuables to higher ground.
6) Don't put beer in the fridge if you think the power might go out. Instead, focus on drinks that will taste OK without chilling or ice. I personally like my gin-and-tonic (or vodka-and-tonic) without ice, so that was fine.
7) Gas up the cars.
8) Dig out the board games or books that will entertain your children during the long hours.
9) Have a calm, reassuring talk with your children about what is forecast to happen, and what you're doing to prepare for it.
10) If an evacuation seems probable, have favorite toys and a few changes of clothes packed well in advance. Scout out your route. Make sure the pets are welcome at your temporary destination (and if it's a relative's house, do point out that leaving the pets behind is NOT optional. Not everyone understands our devotion to our furry-children.)