Utica, NY (WIBX) - Residents should stay home unless it's an emergency, according to the City of Utica.

As Hurricane Sandy prepares to bare down on the state, the city is issuing a mandatory travel advisory after 5 p.m. All nonessential travel is discouraged.

Officials are also urging residents to make sure they are ready by having bottled water, flashlights and a battery operated radio to stay informed.

An emergency shelter has been set up at the MVCC gym, and crews have been placed near Halleck's Ravine to monitor flooding.