How to prepare for Hurricane Irene's arrival

August 26, 2011 4:55:19 AM PDT
With Hurricane Irene heading toward our area as a very powerful storm, here are some tips on preparing for its arrival. RELATED: Get the latest track of Irene with the Hurricane Tracker.

"The storm is coming. The only questions is the severity," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

The current forecast of 7 inches of rain and 40 to 50 mile per hour winds this far inland, means Irene would be worse than Floyd in 1999.

What to do? The Red Cross says secure or put outdoor furniture inside or other items that could blow away. Gas up your car, but don't leave it where high water could claim it. And get some cash. ATM's, won't work without power.

And assume you may lose power. 400,000 customers lost power during Floyd. Turn down the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer so foods will last longer in an outage.

Stock up on non-perishable foods; think foods like peanut butter and jelly, and Red Cross CEO Renee Hughes suggests that you stock up on at least 3 days worth of clean water.

"That means a gallon of water per person a day," says Judge Renee Hughes. "Have blankets. You want to have flashlights and extra batteries for those flashlights."

Make sure you also have extra batteries for a portable radio, a first aid kit, and don't forget your medications.

During Floyd, more than 7,000 people were evacuated for high water. So pack a bag for a quick get-away. Include an ID, proof of address, and insurance information.

And should word come during the storm to get out, get out.

"Evacuate, don't wait," urged Mayor Nutter. "Evacuate, don't wait!"

Finally, the Mayor advised those who live in flood prone, low lying areas to contact relatives or friends who live on higher ground to see if they will put you up should Irene push you out.

- Top off gas tanks. If power is knocked out, gas pumps and ATMs won't work.

- Have a working flashlight and batteries handy.

- Have a battery-operated radio (to be able to listen to news reports about the storm).

- Fill drug prescriptions.

- Have a first-aid kit at home.

- Stock supplies of water and nonperishable food for 5 days. An adequate water supply is 1 gallon of water per person per day.

- Stock baby formula and diapers, if there are babies at home.

- Heed evacuation orders from the Office of Emergency Management.

-The American Red Cross has also put together detailed information on how to prepare for a hurricane. CLICK HERE for that info from the Red Cross. To report power outages:

PECO 1-800-841-4141

Atlantic City Electric 1-800-833-7476

PSE&G 1-800-436-PSEG

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