MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- While the category-three Hurricane Irene makes its way north toward Mamaroneck this weekend, Amanda Barger will be traveling west to stay with family in Minnesota.
Barger and her immediate family had already planned the trip for this weekend, but their timing was impeccable as Mamaroneck prepares for the worst and hopes for the best.
"We're going through all of the steps we would go through for a major emergency," said Town Administrator Stephen Altieri, who warned residents living on the coastal areas to be prepared to evacuate. "Residents off the coastal area should just be vigilant, they should prepare to lose their electricity, they should prepare to have supplies of water and food to cover two and three days; and just honker down for the storm."
Although most residents aren't running for the hills just yet, they did flood the Greendale Shopping Center's Stop & Shop to stock up on the essentials, just in case.
"I'm not even getting food now, I'm just getting the staples, the things I know I'll need," said Melissa Allaimo, who stocked up on water, baby food and batteries. "I'm not quite sure how to prepare."
On the other hand, Dr. Raphael Gilbert, owner of Mamaroneck Veterinary Hospital, has a bit too much experience with hurricanes for his liking. "I've lived through quite a few hurricanes, and I lost a few houses," said Gilbert, who used to live in the Bahamas where he lost power for eight days one year. "I've never been through a hurricane in a place quite as well organized as Westchester County, so I hope we'll get through it ok."
The Stamford, Conn. resident stopped in Brewers to not only prepare himself, but his colleagues with half a dozen flashlights and gas lights, which they will be able to take home if the need is there.
The village tested its emergency operation center at the Palmer Avenue Fire House Wednesday night, while the town's emergency management staff convened Thursday to prepare equipment and notification systems. Altieri also said the Larchmont Reservoir was lowered to retain storm water.
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook that includes lower Westchester Thursday and suggested residents begin reviewing hurricane plans. The Westchester County website for hurricane preparedness lays out what residents can do to prepare, which can be found here.
"Obviously we can't control the storm, but we can control what we do to try to let people know whats going on and do our best to prepare for it," said assistant village manager Dan Sarnoff.
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