The increasing likelihood that Westchester could feel the brunt of Hurricane Irene this weekend prompted the county on Thursday afternoon to begin a partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center.
Ned McCormack, communications director for County Executive Rob Astorino, said the partial activation of various county departments involves devising response plans to cope with emergencies.
Emergency Services, Public Safety, Communications, Health, Public Works, Transportation, Information Technology, Senior Programs, Environmental Facilities, Social Services and Parks and Recreation are the departments that have been put on alert.
McCormack said the county is acting more than 48 hours ahead of when the latest weather reports are predicting the earliest affect of the hurricane could impact the area. If current forecasts are accuratem conditions would deteriorate overnight Saturday into Sunday with the brunt of the storm hitting Westchester on Sunday.
“The point is we’re moving right now and the point is we’re going to be ready early,” McCormack said. “By the time the storm hits it’s going to be too late.”
County officials have also urged residents to make sure that they have all the supplies they need by Friday, when the weather is expected to be good. The checklist for residents is:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 for your pets.
- Print out a list of important phone numbers.
- If you lose power, call Con Edison or NYS Electric & Gas directly. The phone numbers are for 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.
- Stay informed. Keep up to date on the progress of any storm and the protective actions being recommended by government agencies in response.
- Read up on what you should do to be prepared. In non-emergencies, you may call 2-1-1.
- Inspect and secure your outside property.
Residents looking for further information should call 2-1-1. In the event of an emergency, and only an emergency, call 9-1-1. You may also follow the county’s on Twitter: twitter.com/westchestergov.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/