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Hurricane Irene safety tips

The massive Hurricane Irene — with wind speeds around 120 mph as of last night — is predicted to hit New England Monday morning, and it could be the largest storm the area has seen for years. The last hurricane to pass within 75 miles of Boston was Hurricane Bob 20 years ago. New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina have already declared a state of emergency in anticipation for the arrival of Irene, which could slam New England with winds above 60 mph.

Saferide will continue to run through the storm unless the roads are closed or become impassable. All outside trash cans around MIT that are not bolted down will be removed before the storm and stored elsewhere. Here are some tips to stay safe during the storm:

• Close your doors and windows. If you notice any open windows or doors, call the Customer Service Center at x3-4948 and press 2.

• Keep abreast of weather updates via radio, TV, or internet.

• Sign up for MIT Alert at http://www.emergency.mit.net/mitalert .

If you have a car, consider parking it inside during the storm.

• Bring in loose objects that could be blown away and become projectiles. This includes lawn chairs and other outdoor furniture, as well as flags or banners.

• Bring in your pet cat if you have one.

• Don’t go outside during the storm, especially on rooftops, balconies, or other elevated surfaces.

• For people not living in dormitories which have emergency power, keep your cell phone charged before the storm.

• Ensure that family and friends know that you are safe and keep an open line of contact.

• Don’t panic! Store a towel in a safe place.

For more information about Irene’s impact on campus and more tips, check MIT’s emergency information website at http://emergency.mit.net/emergency/.

—Jessica J. Pourian