ALBANY, N.Y. – Sunday is the first day of National Preparedness Month.
Residents in New York State are being reminded by FEMA, the Montgomery County Public Health Office (MCPH) and Schoharie County to prepare themselves and their families for natural disasters. This reminder comes two years after Tropical Storm Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy. All three storms devastated parts of New York State and clean-up continues.
FEMA, MCPH and Schoharie County say New Yorkers should prepare to be self-reliant for three days if power, water and fuel are not available immediately after an emergency.
Four steps to take are the following:
1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency.
2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency.
3. Build an emergency supply kit wurg medicine for those who need it.
4. Get involved.
5. Have plenty of non-perishable food and water supplies on hand. Have a can opener for any food item that requires opening. Make sure battery-operated radios and flashlights are available and have an ample supply of batteries. You can also purchase hand-cranked flashlights and radios that do not need batteries. Have a first aid kit available.
6. Keep a whistle to signal for help.
7. N95 face mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
8. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
9. Keep cell phonecharged at all times.
10. Know how to contact all family members at any time. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the "emergency family contact." Make sure all family members have that number. Designate a family emergency meeting place where your family can meet in case you can't go home. Keep local maps on hand.
11. Know where to relocate pets during a storm because most shelters will not allow pets. Most shelters will only accept "service animals" that assist people with disabilities.
12. Know the local radio and television stations that will provide up-to-date official information during a storm emergency. Follow the news and emergency broadcast.
13. Be aware of the local risks inherent to your area, such as the storm surge history and elevation of your area as it relates to flooding risks.
14. Store important documents, such as insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers and social security cards, in waterproof containers. Also, have cash (in small bills), checkbook credit and ATM cards readily available.
15. If the water is not safe, use bottled water or boiled water for cooking, cleaning or bathing until tap water is safe again.
16. Fill your automobile's gas tank. Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.