According to the New Oxford American Dictionary,
nearby: keep the manual close at hand.
• readily accessible when needed: doctors can have vaccines at hand to immunize any child who comes for treatment.
• close in time; about to happen: a breakthrough in combating the disease may be at hand.
1 receiving or requiring immediate attention: he threw himself into the work in hand.
• in progress: negotiations are now well in hand.
2 ready for use if required; in reserve: he had $1,000 of borrowed cash in hand.
3 under one’s control: the police had the situation well in hand.
• (of land) farmed directly by its owner and not let to tenants.
1 present, especially for a specified purpose: her trainer was on hand to give advice.
• readily available: she kept stocks of delicacies on hand.
2 needing to be dealt with: they had many urgent and pressing matters on hand.
out of hand
1 not under control: things were getting a bit out of hand at the picket line.
2 without taking time to think: they rejected negotiations out of hand.
within easy reach: have a pen and paper to hand.