New Yorkers are on high-alert Friday as Hurricane Irene, now a Category 2 hurricane, barrels towards the Eastern Coast of the United States. The storm's expected to make landfall in North Carolina on Saturday and hit New York around 9pm Saturday night, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office. The cone of the storm moved West yesterday, putting it on a path to pass directly over Queens and Brooklyn.
Mayor Bloomberg has announced a mandatory evacuation of Zone A, which includes areas by the water in all five boros and is home to about 270,000 residents (to see what zone you live in see the interactive map below or call 212-504-4115). Residents need to evacuate Zone A by 5pm Saturday. New York City officials will shut down the city's entire transit system Saturday at noon and will likely not reopen it until sometime Monday, or perhaps later. That's why officials say that if you wait to prepare once the storm hits it'll be too late.
WHAT NEW YORKERS CAN DO TO PREPARE
It appears many of the city's nyc.gov websites have crashed due to traffic. The New York City Office of Emergency Management has a great preparation guide in the event of a natural disaster that hopefully will be back up and available soon. Heres what officials recommend.
1. In the event of a storm, secure outdoor objects, shuttering windows, and place valuables in waterproof containers.
2. Households should designate two places to reunite after a disaster. One place near your home, and another outside your immediate neighborhood, at a friend's place or community center for example.
3. Please check on your neighbors, especially seniors, people with disabilities, children, and non-English speakers and help them to prepare.
4. Officials suggest a Go-Bag in case of evacuation. Each Go-Bag should be sturdy, lightweight and portable, such as a backpack and should contain:
Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable
container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, etc.)
Extra sets of car and house keys
Copies of credit and ATM cards and cash
Bottled water and non-perishable food, like energy or granola bars
Battery-operated AM/FM radio, and extra batteries
List of the medications members of your household take and their
dosages, or copies of all your prescription slips, with doctors’ names
and phone numbers
First aid kit
Lightweight raingear and Mylar blanket
Contact and meeting place information for your household, and
small regional map
Child care, pet, or other special items
5. In the event of a massive power outage, city officials also put together this EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT CHECKLIST to keep in your home. You should enough supplies in your home so you can survive for three days. The suggested items are include non-perishable food items, a first aid kid, a flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries, a whistle, iodine tablets and one quart of unscented bleach and a phone that doesn't require electricity
MAP OF THE EVACUATION ZONES
Also, let's hope the storm isn't that serious: