What Should You Do With Your Air Conditioner in Case of Hurricane?


FYI: The Department of Buildings has ordered all construction work in New York City to be suspended this weekend due to Hurricane Irene. Work is to stop by 2 p.m. Saturday, through Monday at 7 a.m. Note, fortunately, that this excludes work related to safeguarding construction sites or damage repair work related to the storm. Inspectors are also checking out construction sites around the city to make sure equipment is secured. If you see something that looks like it might be scary in high wind, call 311 to report it, assuming 311 is working! But perhaps even more omnipresent than scaffolding in New York City are window air conditioners. Would they be likely to fall or be blown out of windows and and hit someone on the head, always a fear of ours, in case of hurricane? We checked with the DOB to find out.

While we were waiting for the DOB to get back to us on this pressing question, Mike Bloomberg answered it for us in today’s press conference! (Thank you, reporter who asked this.) Said Bloomberg, “Most people would not have the ability to do that.” And, if you’re by yourself and don’t know what you’re doing, you probably run a greater risk of hurting yourself than the risk of the air conditioner falling out and hurting someone else. “If it’s not loose or anything, you’re probably better off just leaving it.” Wise words.

Other stuff you should do, now:

· Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.

· Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.

· Close up and secure patio umbrellas.

· Secure retractable awnings.

· Clear rooftop drains, gutters and leaders.

· Secure all windows.

· Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

· Remove all loose materials from balconies.

In related news, in case of hurricane, don’t go out walking on the streets where you might get hit in the head with something, air conditioner or otherwise.