Hurricane Irene is barreling toward the tri-state, expected to arrive in our area this weekend, and officials want everyone to be prepared.
There are three hurricane zones in New York City. Find if you live in one by going here. If you don't live in an evacuation zone but live in a high-rise building, you need to be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor. High-rise buildings may space special risks during hurricanes, officials say.
If you live in New Jersey, plan your evacuation route here. For Nassau County, check here. For Suffolk, start here.
No matter where you live, officials say everyone should assemble an emergency supply kit (including a gallon of drinking water per person per day, nonperishable foods, a can opener, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a battery-operation radio and extra batteries, a whistle, iodine tablets, personal hygiene items, a phone that does not rely on electricity, and child care supplies).
- prepare a disaster plan (determine how to locate and communicate with family members, and make sure the home is properly insured);
- know where to go (finding friends or family to stay with outside the evacuation zone, or report to a hurricane shelter);
- keep a small "go bag" ready (which should include copies of important documents in a waterproof container; extra sets of keys; copies of credit and ATM cards; $50 to $100 in cash; up-to-date medication information and other essential personal items; first-aid kit; contact and meeting information for family members; child care supplies).
Homeowners should secure their properties. Storm shutters are the best type of protection, but if you don't have those, board up windows with marine plywood. Additional clips or straps are recommended to secure roofs.
Bring in loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys. Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks. Close up and secure patio umbrellas, and secure retractable awnings.
Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.
Trees and shrubs around your home should also be well-trimmed. Also remember to clear your gutters.
New York state offers all-hazard alerts through NY-ALERT (sign up at nyalert.gov). The city offers the latest information on nyc.gov or at 311.
Residents should also monitor the National Hurricane Center to stay aware of current weather conditions. NBC New York's weather page is continuously updated here. The website will always stay updated and carry live streams from the newsroom and weather center in emergencies.
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