After stint in the Bahamas, Hurricane Irene is expected to make her way to the East Coast by the end of the weekend, and Patch wants you to be ready. Here is everything you need to know about how to handle the storm's impending arrival.
Before the hurricane:
The American Red Cross has a list of suggestions on how to prepare yourself and your home in the event of a hurricane.
- Get a three-day supply of water ready for each person on hand, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit.
- Plan routes to emergency shelters and register family members with special needs.
- Make plans for pets.
- Bring items inside that can be picked up by the wind.
- 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.
- Fill their vehicle’s gas tank.
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If hurricane shutters aren’t an option, close and board up windows and doors with plywood.
Determine your risk level: Certain Queens neighborhoods may be located in the Office of Emergency Management's "Evacuation Zone." Find out whether you're at risk of evacuation here. The site may be experiencing heavy traffic in the lead-up to the storm.
If you are forced to vacate, here is a list of evacuation centers most accessible to local Queens residents:
Forest Hills High School: 67-01 110th St. Forest Hills
Queensboro Community College: 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside
Christ the King High School: 6802 Metropolitan Ave. Middle Village
Flushing High School: 35-01 Union St.
Queens College: 65-30 Kissena Blvd.
In case of emergency:
The Red Cross has several resources available to help victims of not just hurricanes, but any large-scale natural disaster. The Safe and Well site enables victims to register themselves on a searchable database that lets loved ones know that they're alright in the wake of catastrophe.