Mayor Bloomberg gave his third and final press conference of the day about Hurricane Irene's approach to NYC, "Conditons are expected to deteriorate rapidly," and emphasizes, "The time for evacuation is over... [Now] Everyone should stay inside."
Bloomberg mentions the tornado watch, admitting there's potential for something to happen, but "We will get through the next 24 hours, I assure you... We have prepared for this. We have worked very hard. We warned the public. Now we have to deal with what comes from Mother Nature... Your own safety depends on what you do...The message before was please leave those dangerous areas but now the time for that has passed." Basically, stay inside until the storm passes and it's still not cool to go around in the storm tomorrow just so you can say you walked through Hurricane Irene—what if some piece of flying debris hits you?!
His big tips: "Move away as far as possible from glass windows"—did you know that the risk increases if you live in a high rise, esp 10th floor or higher? Also, "Make sure windows and doors leading to outdoors are closed," "turn off propane tanks," close the dampers to your fireplace (Nate Berkus was thankful for that tip!) and ride out the storm in a room with as few windows as possible. What else...oh, yeah, DON'T FREAKING KAYAK. Apparently two people had to be rescued while kayaking off Staten Island—it was classic annoyed Bloomberg who incredulously recounted that to the press.
New Yorkers should prepare for the possibility of no power in the morning (Con Ed may or shut down parts of the grid, if flooding looks bad... and there are reports of non-Con Ed-initiated outages), so fill your bathtubs and sinks with water, make sure you have food, medicine, water, and a flashlight on hand. If you use candles, please use caution because they can be knocked over and curtains can catch fire. Charge your phones now. If your power goes out, either call 311 or text 311962.
Finally, Bloomberg thanked everyone who is volunteering their time and energy with the city's response—special shout-out to those volunteering at shelters—and he will address everyone tomorrow morning, "It doesn’t matter if you’re in a shelter tonight, or in your home, or staying with friends or family…we're all in this together."