Ulster County Emergency Communications director Art Snyder wrote about Ulster County's storm preparations on Thursday afternoon. It's not too early to start laying plans for a potential disaster, Snyder writes:
Hurricane Sandy is getting a lot of media attention based on similarities to "the perfect storm" and other significant late season events. It is still very early to accurately project the timing, track and possible impacts. However, at this early stage, here is a compilation of information from the National Weather Service offices in Binghamton and Albany, as well as the National Hurricane Center.
Model trends are toward an east coast landing Monday or Tuesday. This could be anywhere from New Brunswick to the Chesapeake Bay. However, the official track of the storm by the National Hurricane Center now indicates a possible landfall in New Jersey on Tuesday. If the storm does hit this general area, expect strong gusty winds which will lead to widespread power outages, possible flash flooding and potential river flooding, and even the possibility of snow (although this appears to be an outlier possibility at this time).
Most areas of the County have received between 3 and 5.5" of rain thus far in October. Currently the Ashokan Reservoir is at 77.8% of capacity and the Rondout is at 95.2%.
There are multiple scenarios! Recall that during Irene a "last minute" change in course had a significant impact on our area.
It is certainly not too early to "get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed". Have a supply of nonperishable foods and water on hand along with a sufficient quantify of medications, Determine if your home is storm ready - are the gutters cleaned out, tie down or bring in outdoor furniture, etc. Monitor local weather forecasts on this developing situation.
Ulster County Emergency Services will be posting news updates on their blog, ucemergencyservices.blogspot.com.
Kingston, NY –While it is still too early to accurately project the timing, track and possible impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center’s model trends now predict that the storm will move toward the East Coast on Monday or Tuesday of next week, with a possible landfall in New Jersey on Tuesday. Should the storm hit Ulster County, residents can expect strong gusty winds which may lead to widespread power outages, possible flash flooding and potential river flooding, and the possibility of snow. Ulster County’s emergency services and all pertinent County departments continue to prepare and take precautionary measures, in order to react swiftly should the need occur.
County Executive Hein cautioned Ulster County residents, “It is certainly not too early to get a first aid kit, make a plan, and stay informed. Have a supply of nonperishable foods and water on hand along with a sufficient quantify of medications. Ulster County residents should get their homes “storm ready,” meaning cleaning out gutters and tying down or bringing inside all furniture and other items that can be displaced during a storm.”
The County Executive continued, “I urge County residents to take all of the necessary preparations outlined below by the Ulster County Office of Emergency Communication and Management. Prior to the storm, please check the Ulster County website at www.co.ulster.ny.us for updates. In the case of lost power, please listen to commercial radio for emergency updates, for which a battery operated radio is necessary. As the storm progresses and predictions become more accurate, we will provide additional information.”
According to Amanda LaValle, Coordinator of the Ulster County Department for the Environment, “those who live along creeks or rivers who are concerned about potential flooding should subscribe to NY Alert, in order to stay updated on all flood warnings.”
Necessary Storm Preparations & Tips:
- Subscribe to NY Alert (www.NYALERT.gov) to get the latest watches and warnings directly from the National Weather Service.
- Have a family disaster plan.
- Be especially conscious to look out for the elderly, disabled and children.
- Plan for your pets, as pets are not allowed in general population shelters.
- Be prepared for extended power outages. Have a supply of batteries, a battery operated radio, and flashlights. Avoid the use of candles whenever possible due to the fire hazard.
- Have enough potable water for each person. One gallon per person, per day is recommended.
- Have a quantity of nonperishable food and a manual can opener.
- Have a first aid kit and extra medications on hand.
- Have a small quantity of cash on hand in case ATM machines are without power.
- Heed all official warnings including orders to evacuate.
- Never drive through flooded roadways: “turn around, don’t drown!”
- Assume that all down wires are energized and stay away from them.
- Never operate a generator or charcoal cooking appliance indoors because of the great danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep in mind that the wide area of impact will affect the availability of all resources, including, but not limited to the Red Cross and utilities.
- Follow the advice of www.ready.gov – Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.