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What you need to know

1. KNOW IF YOU NEED TO LEAVE

Are you in a safe area, do you need to leave or do you need to go?

Visit: http://gis.nyc.gov/oem/he/index.htm to find out what zone you are in and what that zone means.

NYC Hurricane Map

2. BE PREPARED. (If there is flooding you may be stranded for a few days).

1. Stock up on canned goods/nonperishable foods, batteries, water, toilet paper, medical/nursery supplies, ziplock bags.
2. Check your flashlights to make sure that they work.  Buy flashlights if you don’t have them.
3. If you will be in the path of the hurricane, fill your bathtub with water a few hours before the hurricane is scheduled to arrive.  This is to ensure that you will have water for washing, etc. should you lose power for an extended period of time.
4. Homeowners: If you have to evacuate, board up any exposed windows with plywood a few hours prior to the time the hurricane is scheduled to arrive.
5. Make copies of your insurance papers and store them in a fireproof/waterproof area.  This is especially important for homeowners who will need them if applying for FEMA grants.
6. When the eye of the hurricane arrives, do not go outside!  This is just a lull between storms.  You can still be hit by falling debris.
7. If you do not have to evacuate, but must hide from the storm in your home, a good place to stay sheltered is underneath a mattress in a hallway or bathroom.
8. If you have to evacuate, bring your insurance papers with you.

3. STOCK UP

• Water. This is No. 1 on most lists. The Red Cross suggests a three-day supply or one gallon per person per day.

• Food. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. (Throw in a can opener if your non-perishable food comes in can form.)

But from here the lists can vary. Most recommend you have these items on hand to prepare for a hurricane:

• Extra batteries for radios and for flashlightsNOAA even suggests an extra charged battery for your cellphone.  NYC’s Office of Emergency Management went a step further and suggested New Yorkers dust off their old land lines since they don’t rely on electricity.

• Cash and coins. If power goes out, ATMs and credit card machines may not work.

• A first aid kit and any medicationNew York State recommends bandages, gauze pads, aspirin, ointment and a thermometer, among other things.

• Personal hygiene items and towelettes.

• The Red Cross also suggests having a map of the area, an extra set of car keys and house keys, as well as extra clothingrain gear and sturdy shoes, ready to go.

• You should also gather up baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food and diaper) and pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier and bowl), if you have either or both.

• Ready America recommends a whistle in case you need to signal for help and some tools, like a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary.

• The Weather Channel, which knows a thing or two about weather-related disasters, suggested gathering together important family documents: telephone numbers, financial and insurance reports and an inventory of valuable household goods.

One thing that didn’t make the Weather Channel list, though, was candles because they can cause a lot of fires after disasters.

Lastly, most lists recommend gamesbooks or toys to help pass the time.

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