NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday, Con Edison deployed extra crews ahead of Hurricane Irene to help prune trees near power lines and houses in Westchester County.

White Plains resident Larry Pelligrini told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman his concerns for the coming storm.

“We put up the storm windows in our back porch to make sure that doesn’t get flooded out. And we have some huge trees on the side of the house, batteries, water.”

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Falling trees remain a concern for homeowners. Walking with Guzman on Thursday, expert Ed Nardella of Paul Davis Restoration chose a spot at random and immediately saw a problem above.

“You’ve got some dead wood in the canopy of the tree. If that tree was located in proximity to any sort of property, even automobiles, it could create a lot of damage,” Nardella said.

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For homeowners, Nardella has the following advice to minimize damage from Irene.

“Well, it’s an effort. But if people would take the time to put plywood on any window openings, they’re going to save a potential disaster in terms of devastation. Turbulence is created inside and blows the house out from the inside out,” he said.

Con Ed also stressed safety should any power lines become exposed near homes.

“Don’t go near any lines whether you think they’re live or not. Let us make that judgment,” Con Ed’s Sandy Miller said.

If the worst should happen, experts recommend your family plan include a destination at which to meet, such as a friend’s or relative’s home.

How are you preparing for Hurricane Irene? Sound off in our comments section below…

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