New York City is under a hurricane watch as Irene tracks along a path up the Eastern Seaboard.
With a watch in place and a hurricane warning likely to follow later on Friday, city officials are warning New York residents to begin preparing for a major storm.
With a hurricane, you can see it coming and take appropriate steps, said Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman Stu Loeser. This could be the most serious storm to hit New York City in a century.
Here are a few steps that you can take to get your apartment or home ready for the storm.
1: Know Your Evacuation Zone
Before you prepare you apartment for the storm, make sure you know what evacuation zone you're in and if you will need to evacuate.
Check Here for New York City's Evacuation Zones:
2: Fill the Bath Tub with Water
Sounds silly right? But if you aren't able to flush the toilet, you are going to want to have some water nearby to do the trick. You'll also probably want some water to brush your teeth with and clean your face.
3: Stock Up
Go to the grocery store and get more food than you think you may need, including nonperishable, packaged or canned food and juices. Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit, medicines, and filled prescriptions. Stock up on batteries for flashlights and radios, and stop by the ATM to have some cash on hand for emergencies.
For a full checklist, visit the National Hurricane Center's Disaster Supply Kit page:
4: Charge all Electronic Devises
If you want to be able to use your cell phone or computer to communicate during the storm, make sure you have them fully charged in case the power goes out.
5: Make a Personal Hurricane Plan
Plan for the worst-case scenario. Know what you will do and where you will go in case of an emergency.
Visit nyc.gov for the latest updates, or view Ready America's Hurricane page for a complete overview on how to make a plan of action:
6: Renters Should Contact Landlord or Building Superintendent
Prior to the storm's arrival, make sure to contact your landlord or superintendent to determine whether your units have storm or impact-resistant window laminate that will minimize damage from shattered glass. NYC residents can look up any address on the Building Department's Web site (via nyc.gov) to learn when it was built, when it was last modified, and any outstanding violations that may be of concern in the face of catastrophic weather.
7: Remove Any Items on Patios, Terraces, or Fire Escapes
If you have lawn chairs out on your patio or roof deck, or even just a little garden out on your fire escape, remember to bring everything inside before the storm arrives. Leaving these things outside is more than just a loss for you, it could be potentially dangerous for people walking below.
8: Take Window Air-Condition Units Inside
Make sure to take all window air-condition units inside before the storm hits. You don't want to leave yourself vulnerable, no matter how hot it gets.
9: Prepare a Go-Bag
Mayor Bloomberg has advised all New York City residents to prepare a go-bag containing nonperishables, bottled water, medications, and spare sets of keys.
10: Make the Best of a Bad Situation
If you're going to stick it out, and you want to have a little safe fun, consider having your own hurricane party. Get some games, a movie, lots of food, and invite some friends over to hunker down at your place while the storm passes.
Make sure to take care of all your hurricane preparations as soon as possible. New York City officials have already said they may shut down the city's entire public transportation as early as Saturday afternoon.
Also, continue to monitor announcements from the mayor's office as some evacuations have already begun.