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Staying Ahead Of Hurricane Irene: Tips If Severe Weather Hits

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As Hurricane Irene makes its way towards the U.S. and eventually up the East Coast, Tri-State area residents are being urged to get ready.

So what do you need to do to protect your home and your family if Irene hits? Here are some hurricane preparedness tips everyone should know.

Stay Informed

You always want to stay ahead of the storm when it comes to information.

  • Listen or watch local news for the latest updates.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest emergency weather information.
  • Track the storm to see where it's headed and how strong it will be when it gets there.

Check Your Local Forecast: Radar Forecast & Alerts | Traffic & Transit Guide | On-Air: 1010 WINS | WCBS 880

Protect Your Family

Every family should have an emergency supply kit ready to go in case disaster strikes. The Red Cross says there are several essential items that should be included in any emergency supply kit.

  • Water - At least a three-day supply of one gallon per person, per day.
  • Food - At least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy to make food.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Flashlights.
  • First aid kit.
  • Medications - at least a seven-day supply. Your should also include other medical items like hearing aids, glasses, contacts, syringes.
  • Multi-purpose tool.
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
  • Cell phone with chargers.
  • Copies of personal documents: passports, birth certificates, etc.
  • Family and emergency contact information.
  • Extra cash.
  • Baby supplies.
  • Pet supplies.
  • A whistle to signal for help.
  • Local maps.

For more information about emergency supply kits, click here.

Protect Your Home

There are several things you can do to protect your home from damage during a hurricane, according to

  • Cover your windows with plywood or hurricane shutters to keep high winds from breaking windows.
  • Bring all outdoor furniture or other loose items inside.
  • Reinforce garage doors.
  • Install a backup generator for emergencies.
  •  Make sure you have extra water on hand for cleaning, bathing and flushing toilets. recommends filling the bathtub and other large containers with water.
  • Turn off propane tanks.

For more tips about protecting your home, click here.

Know Your Evacuation Route

In case you need to evacuate, you should know the best and most direct way out-of-town.

Below are resources to help find evacuation routes and other emergency information for your area:

Don't Forget The Pets

If you have pets, don't leave them out of your emergency plans. The National Hurricane Center and FEMA have some key tips for keeping your pets safe.

  • Have extra pet food and water on hand plus any necessary medications.
  • Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations.
  • Have a current photograph in case your pet gets lost.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification and have a leash on hand.
  • Have properly sized pet carriers for each animal.
  • Have a place to take your pet - kennels, veterinary clinics and the homes of friends and relatives are all places you can take your pet in an emergency.
  • Find a pet-friendly motel at

For more information about planning for your pet, click here.

Stay Calm

People tend to fight over supplies and panic before storms hit. A shopper at Lowe's in Farmingdale reported customers were fighting over generators days leading up to Irene. Keep your cool and plan in advance. Lend a helping hand and ask for what you might need without fighting for it.

After The Storm

After any severe storm, there could be damage, including flooding, downed trees, power outages, broken glass and more. The Red Cross says there are several things you should do after a hurricane hits.

  • Stay informed - keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts or your local news for the latest updates
  • Only return home when officials say it's safe
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads
  • Stay away from loose or dangling power lines and report any you may see to local power companies.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Take pictures of the damage for your insurance company
  • Avoid drinking or cooking food with tap water until you know it's safe.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Be careful walking around damaged areas in your home.
  • Throw away any spoiled food.

For more information about what you should do after the storm, click here.

Weather Links

Here are some additional weather links to help you keep an eye on the storm.

Additional Links

Here are some additional hurricane links and resources.

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