►Consider Seeking Safer Pastures
Though no evacuation orders were issued for Wednesday's storm, officials are warning residents that Wednesday's nor'easter is expected to be significant. Those in low-lying areas and neighborhoods already damaged by Hurricane Sandy should consider leaving to stay with friends or family, or in one of the city's evacuation shelters.
City officials are asking New Yorkers to stay inside starting Wednesday afternoon, when winds are expected to pick up significantly, increasing the risk for falling trees, branches and other debris. All city parks, playgrounds and beaches will close Wednesday starting at noon, and officials are urging drivers to stay off the road starting at 5 p.m. or to use extreme caution if they do have to hit the road.
►Secure Your Doors and Windows
To avoid the possibility of broken widows, some may choose to board their windows up with wood or by placing duct tape in an "x" shape across the widow, which reduces the risk of glass flying into the apartment.“That would prevent it from shattering or splintering,” said Michael Rielly, director of planning and response at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia. “Generally you want to stay away from windows.”New Yorkers should also protect against leaks by making sure their windows and doors are securely closed and water-tight. If you’re using a widow air conditioner and you’re able to remove it, you should do so that you can close the window fully and avoid the possibility of the unit coming loose.
►Bring Everything in from Outside.
While most New Yorkers won’t have to worry about securing patio furniture, those with outdoor space, should be sure to bring in all loose objects.“You don’t want to leave stuff outside because when you do they can become missiles,” warned Brian Ciemnecki, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “If you have balconies or a small backyard, you’ll want to bring whatever’s out there inside.”
►Prepare for Possible Power Outages
Today's storm could result in additional power outages, according to the Red Cross, especially since many trees and branches have already been weakened by Hurricane Sandy. The Red Cross recommends people fill their gas tanks ahead of time, take cash out of ATMs, stock up on flashlights and batteries and have coolers on hand and ice in their freezers to keep food cold. Refrigerators can stay cool for up to four hours and full freezers for about 48 hours, according to the Red Cross.
The city's Office of Emergency Management recommends keeping first aids kits on hand as well as a stock of drinking water, and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food.