As Hermine makes its way up the East Coast, local officials are urging New Yorkers to prepare for the storm and its possible impact on the region.
Hermine is expected to bring wind, rain and possible flooding to New York beginning as early as Saturday night and continuing through Wednesday of next week, according to the National Weather Service.
New York City is under a tropical storm watch until further notice and coastal areas are also under a storm surge watch, the weather service said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials said their biggest concern is the “dangerous” rip currents that the storm will bring. City beaches will be closed on Sunday and could possibly remain closed Monday and Tuesday, the mayor said on Friday.
Residents are being urged to take steps to prepare for Hermine, including putting together “go bags” containing important items and documents that can be easily grabbed in a hurry to leave your home.
Scroll down for tips on how to best prepare before the storm.
Prepare a go bag:
The city suggests that each person in your home has his or her own bag to grab if you need to leave in a hurry. Each bag should contain copies of important documents, including birth certificates, insurance cards and deeds, as well as extra sets of car and house keys, cash, copies of credit and debit cards, bottled water, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, medications list, first aid kit and toiletries. For even more go bag suggestions, visit nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.page.
Know your flood risk:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website offers a tool that allows you to plug in your address to find out your risk of flooding during major storms. For more information, visit region2coastal.com.
Put together a disaster kit:
Similar to the go bag, you should be prepared with enough food, water and other items to last at least three days. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes suggests you should plan for one gallon of water per person, per day and to stock up on non-perishable food items. Other items to include in your disaster kit include: Cash, a battery-powered radio, blankets and pillows, first aid kit, toiletries, children’s toys and pet care items.
Write a home inventory:
Create a list of personal property that can be used if you suffer losses during a storm and need to file an insurance claim. Be sure to list all of your furnishings, clothing and valuables, and include descriptions and photographs of all property.
Bring in lawn furniture:
City officials are urging residents to bring in any loose objects that could pose a danger in high winds. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans and other outdoor ornaments.
Anchor objects outside:
For items that are not safe to bring inside, such as a large barbecue, the city suggests that you anchor down objects so that they don’t become a safety hazard during a storm.
Move valuable items from basements:
Be proactive about reducing your losses in the event that your home suffers damage due to flooding by bringing all valuables out of the basement.
Prepare your pets:
Don’t forget about your furry friends! You can make a go bag and/or emergency kit for your pet just as you would for a child. The city suggests you include a current color photo of you and your pet together (in the event you are separated), medical records with vaccination dates, proof of ownership, a physical description of your pet, an animal first aid kit with flea and tick medication, three days’ worth of food and water and more. For a full list of suggestions, visit nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.
Turn the temperature down in your refrigerator and freezer:
If you should lose power, the lowered temperature will keep your perishable food items cold for a longer amount of time. You should also try to avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer for long periods of time.
Charge cell phone batteries:
In the event you lose power, it is important that you have a full cell phone battery to make emergency calls and to find out up-to-date information on the storm.