THE BRONX - With Hurricane Irene expected to make her way up the East Coast, officials say Bronx residents should be prepared for strong winds and heavy rains.

At high-rise buildings it's recommended that everyone stay below the tenth floor during a hurricane. However, officials say residents should stay above ground level to avoid areas prone to flooding from heavy rains.

Irene could turn into a Category 4 storm today, but it's expected to be either a Category 1 or 2 by the time it could reach the area.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging residents to have an emergency kit on hand, with water, ready to eat canned food, a flashlight, and personal hygiene products like toothpaste.

National Hurricane Center