How to Weather Hurricane Irene in the City

To weather the hurricane safely this weekend, there are a number of steps you can take. Here’s what the Office of Emergency Management, the Hurricane Center and the Red Cross suggest:

• If you live in a high-rise building outside an evacuation zone, you should stay at or below the 10th floor, but still above any floors at risk for flooding. High-rise buildings are vulnerable to hurricane-force winds, particularly at the higher levels since wind speed tends to increase with height.

•    Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.  George Contreras, a professor of emergency and disaster management at the Metropolitan College, told WNYC on Friday that people who live in high rise apartments should protect themselves from flying debris by taping their windows with an 'X.'

•    If you do not live in an evacuation zone, designate an interior room with no windows or external doors as a “Safe Room.”

•    Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.

•    Turn off any propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

•    Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

•    Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.

•    If you are going to an evacuation center, pack lightly and bring your Go Bag, sleeping bag or bedding, and required medical supplies and equipment.