Astorino Advises Residents To Be Prepared For Hurricanes

County Executive Robert P. Astorino Advises Residents to be preparedSept. 8, 2017 - With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida and September being “National Preparedness Month,” County Executive Robert P. Astorino is urging residents to review their emergency plans and obtain critical supplies to be ready for any severe weather that might strike Westchester during this already active hurricane season.

Astorino said that county officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and other weather patterns and will implement preparedness measures if severe weather moves up the East Coast. Citing Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Astorino noted that the two devastating back-to-back storms are a reminder that severe weather can strike at any time.

“The time to prepare for severe weather is now,” Astorino said. “It is always easier to stockpile critical items before a major storm approaches and these items disappear from the shelves. The best way to stay safe is to have a plan and to be prepared.”

The National Hurricane Center currently projects that Hurricane Irma could impact Florida starting Saturday. The forecast is subject to change and the storm is being monitored daily by the county officials and departments, including the Department of Emergency Services and the Health Department.

Astorino discussed preparedness today at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, where municipal and county officials were participating in a county-sponsored hurricane tabletop exercise. The discussion-based exercise helps chief elected officials and other local government executives to define the significant actions they would need to take prior to, during and in the aftermath of a destructive storm.

Astorino first implemented the exercises in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which caused significant flooding, power outages, downed trees and destruction of property in 2012. Each year since, municipal leaders and county officials have trained in the executive decision-making needed to help keep Westchester safe.

The County Executive recommended that residents have several days’ worth critical supplies on hand in the event that they are stuck in their homes without power and should prepare an “Emergency Kit” in case they are asked to evacuate on short notice during an emergency.

Commissioner John M. Cullen of the Department of Emergency Services (DES) said emergency management officials recommend that people create a disaster preparedness kit that includes: one gallon of water per person per day; a three-day supply of canned, packaged or other foods that do not need refrigeration or need to be cooked; a manual can opener and eating utensils; flashlights and batteries; a first aid kit; and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.

hurricanetabletop2Foods 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 juice

Cullen said families also need to consider what additional preparations may be necessary for people who have 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 in Keeping Safe Be Prepared and

Astorino said people should also consider joining emergency preparedness and response groups, such as volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps, and participating in efforts sponsored by not-for-profits, such as The United Way and The Red Cross.

“Volunteers provide invaluable help to many in their communities,” Astorino said. “In times of crisis, we all need each other.”