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Schools and employees playing big role in city's hurricane plan

With its 12 stories and massive auditorium, Brooklyn Technical High School has been used for many purposes: to hold school board meetings, as an enrollment center, even as a venue in a rooftop film series. This weekend, it will be a hurricane evacuation site for the first time.

Brooklyn Tech is one of dozens of city schools that are open to residents of flood-prone areas of the city who have been ordered to leave their homes as Hurricane Irene approaches. The schools make up most of the city’s evacuation sites, along with public colleges and the Belmont Racetrack.

In his 3 p.m. briefing about the storm, Mayor Bloomberg said school safety agents would staff each of the city’s 91 evacuation sites and that the Department of Education’s Office of SchoolFood would provide meals to those riding out Irene there.

Bloomberg is set to visit one of the sites, Newcomers High School in Queens, at 7:30 p.m.

Many of the people staffing the sites and pitching in on the city’s emergency management efforts are teachers. According to the New York Times’ Metro section Twitter account, the city created a database of public employees who could be asked to volunteer during an emergency, and many are teachers. Now, schoolteachers are getting automated calls asking them to volunteer, and about half of the 5,000 public employees who have already agreed to help out work in the DOE.

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