Please be safe from the upcoming storm and take steps to ensure you are prepared. Here is an update from the Westchester County Government to help you prepare for the so-called "Frankenstorm" and its expected flooding, high winds and potential power outages.
- Have a plan – A family emergency plan should include deciding where to go in the event you have to leave your home.
- Check in with family members that have special needs. Don't forget to make plans as well as your pets.
-Make a kit – specifically, a go-bag for use in an evacuation and a household disaster kit to enable a family to survive at home for several days without electricity. Suggestions for items to include in each can also be found on the county's web site (westchestergov.com).
- Stay informed – Keep up-to-date on the progress of any storm and the protective actions being recommended by government agencies in response.
- Check on supplies – Make sure you have flashlights and batteries on hand as well as at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable foods.
- Check medications – Make sure to have an ample supply of any medications you may be taking.
- Print out a list of important phone numbers.
- Residents with oil tanks 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 or powerful winds.
- If the power fails, keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible to keep food from spoiling.
- If you lose power, call Con Edison directly. The phone numbers are: Con Ed power outage or gas and electrical service problems: (800) 75-CONED.
- Secure or put away any items outside your home that could be blown away or damaged by high winds.
- Residents looking for further non-emergency information should call 2-1-1. United Way's 2-1-1 helpline offers information about shelters, evacuation routes, road closures, recovery services, power outages, donations, volunteer opportunities, and other disaster-related services. Call specialists can communicate with callers in more than 250 languages. The line is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week with expanded hours possible during emergencies.
- Here is a link for additional storm preparation information the Westchester County: http://keepingsafe.westchestergov.com/be-prepared
- Here is a link about power outage preparations from The Journal News: http://www.lohud.com/article/20121027/NEWS/310260125
Good luck and let's all hope the storm is not as bad as many are predicting.
Jim Maisano is the Minority Leader of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. He represents District 11 covering New Rochelle and Pelham. You can follow Jim on Facebook, Twitter or on his Blog. You can contact Jim at 914-995-2826 or [email protected]