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Read County Release from County Executive George Latimer
(White Plains, NY) – Hurricane season officially arrived this month and County Executive George Latimer is urging residents to review their emergency plans and obtain critical supplies in case severe weather strikes Westchester.
“The best time to prepare for a hurricane or other severe storm is before it is in the forecast,” Latimer said. “Gather the essentials you would need if a major storm hits because those items disappear from the shelves quickly when a storm is on the way or immediately after one occurs.”
County emergency responders recommend residents set aside several days’ worth of non-perishable food, water and medicine, and keep other critical supplies on hand like flashlights and batteries in case they are stuck in their homes without power. Residents should also have a “go-bag” ready in case they are asked to evacuate on short notice during an emergency.
Latimer continued: “Our recent experiences with storms have shown us that we must take hurricane season seriously. In recent years, many of our homeowners suffered significant property damage and power outages for an extended period of time. Mother Nature is hard to predict, but it can give us peace of mind to be prepared.”
Commissioner Richard G. Wishnie of the Department of Emergency Services said hurricane season runs June 1 through December 1. He recommends that residents create an emergency preparedness kit that includes:
foods that can be stored include ready-to-eat canned meats and fish, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal and granola, peanut butter, nuts, crackers and canned fruit or juice
Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of the Department of Health, said ahead of any major storm, residents should make a list of their mediations, charge their cellphones and laptops, and fill their vehicle gas tanks, too. It is also a good idea to have some masks, wipes and hand sanitizer in a go-bag. Residents with oil tanks at home should top off their tanks and tighten the cap to prevent spills. Above-ground tanks should also be strapped to a secure fixture to prevent tipping in case of flooding.
Amler said food and generator safety are essential during and after any power outage or emergency.
Acting Commissioner Terrance Raynor of the Department of Public Safety encouraged motorists to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary during inclement weather. Flash-flooding can quickly swamp vehicles and put motorists in significant danger.
Raynor said: “Over the years, County Police officers have responded to rescue numerous motorists who have been stranded in rising water when their cars have stalled on flooded roadways. In addition to likely damaging your vehicle, you may also be putting your life at risk.”
Residents and business owners with generators are reminded of the following safety tips:
If you lose power, call Con Edison or NYS Electric and Gas directly. The phone numbers are: Con Ed power outage or gas and electrical service problems: (800) 75-CONED; NYSEG electricity power outage: (800) 572-1131; NYSEG gas power outage: (800) 572-1121.
Wishnie said families should also consider what additional preparations to make for people with special needs or who care for the elderly, infants or pets. Family members also should plan for how they will communicate if local phone service is not available or is overwhelmed by high demand.
Practical tips on these and other topics can be found at: https://emergencyservices.westchestergov.com/severe-weather or https://www.ready.gov/