(NECN) - Irene is paying a visit to the U.S. Atlantic coast.
The best thing that you can do is to be prepared. There is potential for flooding, high winds, damage and power outages across New England.
The Massachusetts State Police urge citizens of the Commonwealth to follow several basic safety tips during the upcoming storm:
-Residents should be indoors in a secured location by late Saturday evening. While the storm is not expected to begin in earnest until Sunday morning, with the most intense hours expected Sunday afternoon, the possibility exists that its pace could accelerate.
-Residents are urged to stay off the roads Sunday. Heavy rains and heavy winds, with the probability of hurricane-force gusts and the possibility of sustained hurricane-force winds, are expected. The wind and rain will make driving hazardous.
-Any visitors leaving Massachusetts by car are urged to do so as soon as possible, and if at all possible not wait until Saturday night to do so.
-Anyone coming across downed wires or utility poles should, of course, avoid contact with them.
-Anyone having to drive during the storm (which we strongly recommend against) should avoid driving through deep or standing water. Do not drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the wheel rims.
-Residents should have several days of supplies of potable water and non-perishable food in case of prolonged power outages, which are a possibility.
-Residents should have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
-Please check on elderly or shut-in neighbors if possible.
-Anyone in trouble may call 911 on a cell phone to immediately be connected to a State Police dispatch center.
Recommended items to have in an emergency kit:
-Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
-Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
-Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-First aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
-Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
-Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
-Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Below you will find some useful links.
SHELTERS AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS: http://app.redcross.org/nss-app
LATEST WEATHER FORECASTS AND RADAR: http://www.necn.com/pages/weather
WEATHER BLOG FROM NECN WEATHER TEAM: http://www.necn.com/pages/weathernewengland
TRACKING IRENE: http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201109.html
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
COMPUTER MODEL IMAGES: http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at201109_model.html
STAY INFORMED; HURRICANE TIPS: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html
HOW TO BUILD AN EMERGENCY KIT: http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html
WHAT TO DO DURING A HURRICANE: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/hu_during.shtm
INFORMATION ABOUT EVACUATIONS: http://tinyurl.com/3oqc95k
PREPARING YOUR PETS FOR EMERGENCIES: http://www.peta.org/mediacenter/news-releases/Urgent--PETA-Offers-Information-for-Safeguarding-Animals-as-Hurricane-Irene-Looms.aspx
HURRICANE HAZZARDS: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/hu_hazard.shtm
INFORMATION ON FLOOD INSURANCE: http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart
SAFETY TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS: http://tinyurl.com/3m6cn3u
RED CROSS: http://www.redcross.org