Westchester County urges residents to review emergency plans, stock up on critical supplies and stay prepared in case severe weather strikes Westchester. Hurricane season runs June 1 through December 1. Residents should create an emergency preparedness kit that includes:
- A gallon of water per person per day
- A three-day supply of canned, packaged or other shelf-stable, ready-to-eat food
Ideally this would be foods which can be stored including:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fish, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal, granola, peanut butter, nuts, crackers, canned fruit and juice.
- Manual can opener and eating utensils
- Flashlights and batteries
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
Additional disaster tips from WC Department of Emergency Services include:
- Before a storm hits, set your refrigerator to the coldest setting to keep food fresh longer if you lose power.
- Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible. Do not assume refrigerated foods are safe.
- Foods that are fully frozen are safe to use.
- Foods that have warmed to room temperature for more than two hours or have come into contact with flood waters should be discarded. When in doubt, throw it out.
- During a prolonged outage, discard these foods if they were not kept below 45 degrees Fahrenheit: meat, poultry, seafood, cold cuts, hot dogs, eggs, cream, sour cream, yogurt, milk, custards, puddings, soft and shredded cheeses, cut fruit, cooked vegetables, pasta, casseroles, unbaked cookie and bread dough, gravy, creamy salad dressings, fish sauces, hoisin sauce, opened spaghetti sauce and garlic in oil.
- After disposing of spoiled food, disinfect the refrigerator to avoid further contamination.
- Discard any cans of food that are rusted, dented or open.
- If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again.
- Storm clean-up can produce a great deal of garbage, which invites insects and rodents. Store your garbage in watertight, rodent/insect-proof containers with tight-fitting covers.
- Motorists should stay off the roads when major storms are in the forecast. Flash-flooding can quickly occur, swamping vehicles and putting motorists in significant danger.
- Never run a generator in a basement, garage, porch or carport. Generators produce carbon monoxide that can quickly be lethal indoors. Only operate a generator outdoors and away from open windows.
- Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Overloading your generator can damage it and any appliances connected to it. Fire may result.
- If your generator has a detachable fuel tank, remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
- 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.