The following is information regarding New York City’s preparations for Hurricane Irene, and the recommended steps New Yorkers should take to prepare.
Hurricane Irene is deemed as a Category 3 hurricane (downgraded to Category 2 on Friday), which is presently leaving the Bahamas and heading up the east coast towards Long Island and New York City. Although Hurricane Irene is moving slowly and the forecast remains uncertain, it is expected to hit NYC on Sunday with about 6-12 inches of rain.
According to the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), NYC developed a hurricane response plan since 2007 in reaction to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The plan is available online HERE. OEM is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm. At this time, the Mayor has not concluded that a full evacuation is necessary. Nonetheless, the city is preparing shelters in case of an emergency evacuation, especially for Category 1/Zone A communities (low-lying areas most at risk of flooding). The NYC Health Department and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation are readily prepared to service elderly and disabled populations if the storm the hits. Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg ordered an evacuation of the hospitals, nursing homes, and senior centers within Zone A.
The Hurricane Evacuation zones can be found HERE. The 35th District overlaps with Zone A. The Brooklyn evacuation sites are listed below--
OEM is recommending that New York residents have a "emergency bag" prepared, and that people stock up on supplies in advance of the storm.
The MTA is actively preparing for the impact of Hurricane Irene. The agency is making arrangements to bring in extra personnel over the weekend, preparing facilities and infrastructure by clearing drains, securing work sites against possible high winds, checking and fueling equipment, stocking supplies, and establishing plans to move equipment and supplies away from low-lying areas as needed. Because of the severity of the wind and rain associated with a hurricane, there may be partial or full shut down of services to ensure the safety of customers and employees.