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Prepare for hurricane season 2013

Mahogany Linebarger | 8/29/2013, 9:57 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 9:57 a.m.

Hurricane season is approaching, and in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Sandy, every New Yorker should be advised to take some precautions.

Early this season, meteorologists from the Weather Channel, Accuweather and the Tropical Meteorology project began making their reports about what the summer would bring in terms of heavy storms. Each differing slightly in their predictions, the reports did come to one consensus—that this was going to be an “above average” season, potentially hitting the city between the months of August and October.

According to an initial report made by Accuweather three months ago, it was predicted that the summer would bring three landfalls, 16 tropical storms and eight hurricanes. Refining their reports, the Meteorology project predicted that there was a 72 percent likelihood that a major hurricane would make landfall here in the U.S.

The Weather Channel came to some of the same conclusions but made it clear that there was some margin of error. According to senior meteorologist Stu Ostro, “These forecasts absolutely cannot accurately predict critical details such as where or how many landfalls will occur, and people in hurricane-prone areas should be equally prepared every year regardless of seasonal outlooks.”

As New York is a hurricane prone-area, New Yorkers are expected to take some basic precautions in the event that a hurricane hits the city. The first thing you should do is have a conversation with your family or the people you live with. Talk about how you all intend on getting in contact with one another or where you all should meet in the event of the hurricane. Create a plan; this is can be done personally with research, or you can use the “My Emergency Plan” guide, available at www.nyc.gov.

Next locate your nearest evacuation zone; find out if you live in an evacuation zone or if your job is near one. Areas in the city that tend to have a high risk of flooding, like the downtown Manhattan area, are divided into six zones. Residents may be asked to evacuate given a hurricane’s predicted patterns and risks.

If you live in an apartment, take basic precautions such as:

  • Closing the windows
  • Turning refrigerator and freezer to a higher temperature just in case power is lost
  • Fill bathtubs and bottles with fresh water
  • Keep cellphones and other communication electronics charged
  • Make sure medications are properly refilled
  • Have a first aid kit ready
  • Stock up on food
  • If you have a car, consider moving it to higher ground
  • if you have pets, shelter them at a kennel or with family and friends. Pets are also allowed at any city evacuation center
  • For people with disabilities, be in constant contact with friends, family and emergency workers. Make sure that your emergency plan allows for transportation time

In case of evacuation, a must-have is a “ to go bag.” This bag will hold clothes, medication, identification and medical documents, keys, chargers and other personal supplies that you will need.

However, in the event that evacuation is not necessary, be prepared to be stuck inside for a long period. Find ways to entertain yourself with friends and family. Make sure you find ways to stay active even if power is lost. Stay updated on the news about the hurricane and what city safety officials are asking of New Yorkers. Above all, have a plan, be ready and remain calm.

For more information about this coming hurricane season, ways to prepare or for any unique situations, contact: