ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday ordered the state’s Office of Emergency Management to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Irene, which may hit New York State this coming Sunday. The Governor has instructed the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Albany to track the storm and to work with other state agencies to prepare the state’s response.

At the Governor’s direction, agencies and local governments around the state will meet today to plan coordinated response efforts, such as emergency operations support and field staff deployments to areas that are expected to be hit the hardest. Relevant state agencies have also been in communication with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service to discuss the potential tracks of the storm and to determine storm planning efforts.

“We are actively working to ensure that New York State is prepared for the potential impact of Hurricane Irene,” Governor Cuomo said. “The state government is coordinating with our federal and local partners so that we can effectively respond to any emergency situation that may arise due to the storm. I encourage New Yorkers to pay close attention to the track of the hurricane and, if necessary, to follow the instructions of emergency officials. By properly preparing in advance, we can most calmly and decisively take action if the storm arrives.”

The actual strength of the hurricane will depend on its course up the east coast of the United States. Parts of the state that are adjacent to coastal waters, such as Long Island and New York City, are considered most at risk. Inland locations can also be affected by heavy rainfall and strong winds, which can cause flooding and power outages.

Governor Cuomo urges New Yorkers to take stock of their emergency supplies, such as water, non-perishable food, radios, batteries, supplies for any pets, and first aid kits. The Governor also encourages New Yorkers to check in with neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled, who might need assistance to ensure that their needs are met if emergency instructions are issued.