The New York State Office of Emergency Management (State OEM) today urged New Yorkers to begin preparing for the 2011 hurricane /coastal storm season by reviewing their family emergency plans and checking on emergency supplies they have at home and at work.
“A community’s level of preparedness begins with the individual,” said Andrew X. Feeney, Director of State OEM. “While State and local agencies continue to do everything possible to ensure that our response capabilities are as robust as possible, every resident has a responsibility to develop and practice plans to protect themselves, their families and property.”
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, recognizing the importance of both community and personal preparedness, has designated May 22-28 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in the Empire State. A copy of the proclamation is attached with this release.
State OEM’s traditional hurricane safety message comes in advance of the Atlantic hurricane/coastal storm season in the Empire State which runs from June 1 through November 30. While predominantly coastal storms, in the past these devastating storms have impacted areas of the State hundreds of miles from the ocean such as Tropical Storms Agnes in 1972 in the Southern Tier and Floyd in 1999 in the Hudson Valley.
“New Yorkers should know what they and their families should do in the event of a storm or an emergency, and that includes having emergencies supplies on hand such as flashlights and batteries, and water and canned goods,” Feeney said.
The State OEM Director also said that residents should be aware of current weather conditions by monitoring NOAA Weather Radio and local media reports and broadcasts.
“You need to have accurate information to protect yourself and your loved ones, and the best way to get emergency information is by subscribing to NY-ALERT, the State’s all-hazards alert and notification system,” Feeney said. To subscribe to this free, web-based system, visit www.nyalert.gov.
The State OEM Director urged New Yorkers to take the following actions to develop a family plan:
· Know how to contact all family members at all times. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the “emergency family contact.” Then make certain all family members have that number.
· Designate a family emergency meeting point, some familiar location where the family can meet in the event the home is inaccessible.
· Prepare an emergency phone list of people and organizations that may need to be called, including schools, doctors, child/senior care providers, and insurance agents.
· Know the hurricane / storm risks in their areas, and learn the storm surge history.
· Learn their community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
· Stock up on emergency supplies, non-perishable food and water.
· Make arrangements on where to relocate pets during a storm.
· Have your family learn basic safety and first aid measures. If you can, stock up on prescribed medicines and have supplies for persons with special needs such as the elderly and infirm.
· Practice the Plan!
For more information on hurricane preparedness and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit the State OEM website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/.