Mayor Bloomberg issued the city's first-ever mandatory evacuation order for residents in low-lying areas, like Coney Island, Far Rockaway, South Beach and Battery Park City (aka Zone A), requiring them to be out by 5 p.m. today as Hurricane Irene is headed our way. While we know of one Zone A resident who has left his home in the Rockaways, are people really evacuating?

Another reader who lives lower Manhattan sent us the notice his building management company sent him (read it below). You can also share your photos and stories by sending them to tips@gothamist.com or tagging photos "gothamist" on Flickr:

As you know, New York City is under a hurricane watch, with a storm expected to impact our area from Saturday night through Sunday night. Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, with extensive flooding, tidal surges, beach erosion and wind gusts. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is closely monitoring the situation and will coordinate the City's response to this event. At this time, we do not know the extent of the impact that it will have on New York City, but are urging everyone to prepare. NYC Transit is running today, but is expected to be shut down at Noon tomorrow, Saturday.

YOUR BUILDING HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BY OEM FOR A MANDATORY EVACUATION BY NO LATER THAN 3:00PM TOMORROW / SATURDAY to a location outside of the City's ZONE A. NYC OEM will decide when you are authorized to return.

Due to the seriousness, of this notice, we must repeat, all residents MUST evacuate the building by 3:00 pm tomorrow. This is not optional. Related Management staff will start shutting down building systems tomorrow and our staffs will be obliged to evacuate the buildings as well. As a result, the buildings may have no elevator service, or potentially water supply, and we expect to be locking all entrances. With no RMC staff in the building you would be placing your household at increased personal risk.

If you have decided to stay elsewhere in the City through the storm, know that Related Management teams have been making preparations for over a week and will return the buildings to service as soon as possible when we are allowed to return. However, it is quite possible that the City will suffer with power outages, internet and cell service interruptions and an inability to deliver potable water to all locations.

As a result, we recommend that you prepare as indicated below so upon your return you will have the basic essentials available.

  • Have on hand
  • a two day supply of water
  • a first aid kit
  • battery operated radio and flashlights
  • essential documents and identification
  • required medications (both prescriptions and OTC)
  • Cash in case ATM's are not working or stores cannot accept credit cards
  • Fill bathtubs with water to use for flushing in case of supply disruption
  • Closely monitor forecasts, TV, radio and online news sources for the latest information, and visit www.nyc.gov or call 3-1-1
  • Sign up for alert services at www.nyalert.gov or www.nyc.gov/oem
  • Use text messaging if your cell service is interrupted.
  • If you or your family member requires medical equipment that uses power, contact your medical supply company ahead of time.
  • Ensure that all windows are completely closed and locked and window coverings down before you leave. If you need assistance ensuring your windows are properly closed, please contact the concierge desk

Our Resident Manger will be on duty supervising and monitoring the building through the time of evacuation. Please do not hesitate to contact the Resident Services office with any questions or concerns you may have.