As Hurricane Irene continues to pound the Caribbean, concerns over whether it will hit the Hamptons continue to rise with experts predicting Irene could slam the East Coast of the U.S. early this weekend. Warnings from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have already been issued about the serious damage a hurricane could cause along the entire Eastern Seaboard, including the East End of Long Island. According to National Hurricane Centre Director Bill Read, a Category 3 storm or higher could be hitting the East Coast.
The first hurricane of the 2011 season, Hurricane Irene is expected to begin heading north by Thursday, but it is never too early to start thinking about emergency supplies and other ways to prepare for a hurricane (the 2011 Hurricane Season lasts until November 30). Experts recommend your pre-hurricane checklist should include:
1. Buy a reliable flashlight and battery-operated or hand-crank radio (and plenty of spare batteries).
2. Stock up on bottled water (a three-day supply/one gallon per person per day is recommended by the Red Cross) and nonperishable food (remember, you may have no refrigeration or power to cook).
3. Make sure that anything in your yard that could be blown around by violent winds is stored away inside the house or garage.
4. Charge your electronics and purchase emergency phone chargers that run on batteries or via hand cranking.
5. Make sure all of your medical prescriptions are adequately filled for the next week, in case pharmacies close.
6. Take note of important phone numbers and put them in a safe place—don’t rely on the Internet for these numbers, because you may not have Internet access. Include the numbers of local police and fire departments.
7. If you do not have hurricane shutters, be sure to tape your windows or block them with plywood.
8. Fill your car with a full tank of gas and keep a spare, filled gas can available, as well as a spare set of keys.
9. Assess the trees around your home to make sure they are secure, properly trimmed and a safe distance away from the house.
10. Stay indoors.
“If Hurricane Irene Hits the Hamptons” is brought to you by Fox Tree Service. If you have concerns about whether the trees in your yard are hurricane-ready, or for tree damage and tree-damage prevention information, contact Fox Tree Service at 1-800-299-6676 or www.foxtreeservice.com.