While the millions throughout the tri-state area and beyond furiously made last minute preparations before the onslaught from Hurricane Sandy began, Rabbi Anchelle Perl also concerned himself with spiritual pursuits. The director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mineola on New York’s Long Island was of course making sure his community members were safe, but in his flurry of phone calls and e‑mails he was also providing spiritual encouragement.

“Reaching out spiritually, especially in times of worry and fear like these, is very important,” he says. “People need to keep their spirits up.”

Perl, who prayed by torchlight Monday afternoon, also ran out to a nearby detention center to deliver kosher food to a teenager whose arraignment had been delayed by the storm. And despite the widespread power outage and the cancelling of his live online Torah class Tuesday night, he’s arranging a conference call for as many listeners as can dial in.

Amid mounting worries and evacuations, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries throughout affected regions are providing reassurance and continued study and prayer opportunities for community members. They’re reminding people that they can add a spiritual dimension to their time at home, and find comfort in tradition. Though nerve-wracking, this can be a time for growth, connection and inspiration, they assure.

Conversations have centered on what lessons can be derived from within the storm, and on the idea of making a blessing acknowledging the awesome power of the Almighty that permeates nature. Judaism website Chabad.org, which reported an increase of 20 percent in its traffic Monday and a surge of hits on its children’s mini site, posted material on this topic, with Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin explaining that from a safe vantage point, a hurricane presents an “awesome demonstration of our smallness and the vast power of our Creator, right before our very eyes.”

Rabbi Levi Gurkov of Chabad of Oceanside, where the road outside has flooded, cancelled Monday night’s programs. But he’s still encouraging people to recite Psalms and study Torah with their families.

“You can use the opportunity to reflect on the more important things in life than just the material pursuits,” he says. Instead of just worrying about if the car’s going to flood, parents can use the time to talk to their children about the values of good character, the obligation to help others, and the spiritual pursuit of making the world a better place. “When you’re sitting down and you’re playing board games, you can also turn it into a moment of reflection.”

Rabbi Shalom Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington echoes the sentiment about time well spent.

“My dear friend, don’t waste the storm!” he writes in an e‑mail to community members. “Utilize the opportunity to spend quality time with your family, not just glued to the tube.”