Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today designated this week as Hurricane Preparedness Week in the Empire State and urged New Yorkers to know the risks of hurricanes and take appropriate precautions for the possibility of extreme weather. New Yorkers can prepare for the 2014 hurricane and coastal storm season by reviewing their family emergency plans and checking on emergency supplies they have at home, in their cars and at work.
From Hurricanes Sandy and Irene to Tropical Storm Lee, we have seen firsthand how Mother Nature can quickly disrupt lives and damage communities, Governor Cuomo said. Those storms taught us valuable lessons about the importance of planning ahead when a disaster strikes, and with another hurricane season approaching, I am urging all New Yorkers to prepare themselves and their families for any possible emergency. Together we can be the first responders in our own homes and neighborhoods and ultimately build a stronger, more resilient New York.
NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer said, The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Hazards from hurricanes come in many forms including storm surge, heavy winds and rain, inland flooding and even tornadoes. Make sure you are prepared for all hazards, including long term power outages. Building a kit and being prepared with a practiced plan will make your families and communities safer and more resilient.
Hurricane Sandy is the most costly disaster to ever hit the shores of New York State. 61 residents lost their lives, more than two million people lost power, more than 300,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed and more than 400,000 residents of New York City and Long Island were evacuated from their homes.
Governor Cuomo is encouraging all New Yorkers to take the time before a storm occurs to learn the appropriate actions that can protect their homes and loved ones before, during and after a hurricane:
- 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 communitys warning signals and evacuation plans.
- Make sure your family has an evacuation kit with supplies for the entire family as well as pets, well in advance of an emergency.
- Stock up on emergency supplies, non-perishable food and water. Try to plan for 7-10 days without access to basic lifesaving supplies.
- 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!
Additionally, New Yorkers should familiarize themselves with basic hurricane related terms such as:
- Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph or less.
- Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed ranges from 39 mph to 73 mph.
- Hurricane: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more.
- Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours.
- Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) is possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, lists of emergency supplies and how to build a go kit and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit the DHSES website at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/hurricane-safety.cfm.