New Yorkers Urged to Prepare for Heavy Rains as Hurricane's Remnants Move Up the East Coast
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York stands prepared to assist the states currently forecasted to be impacted by Hurricane Michael in any way possible, in terms of both preparation and recovery. While it is still uncertain whether the impacts of Hurricane Michael will reach the northeast, Governor Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to prepare for heavy rains, as well as the potential for flash flooding, in the event that the storm tracks in the state's direction.
"New York is no stranger to the devastation that can come at the hands of Mother Nature and we stand ready to assist our neighbors to the south in any way we can as Hurricane Michael approaches," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to monitor the development of this storm, and even as its impact on the northeast remains unclear at this time, I urge New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions should the storm's remnants reach our region."
Hurricane Michael is currently moving northwestward through the southern Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to become a major Hurricane by Wednesday morning. The storm is moving toward the north and tracking to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend on Wednesday, then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday. Eastern and southeastern portions of New York are forecast to experience showers with locally heavy downpours late Wednesday night into Thursday due to tropical moisture. The heaviest of the rainfall will occur Thursday and could be heavy at times, with some urban, low lying and poor drainage flooding possible. The potential for heavy rainfall ends Thursday night. Current tracking shows Michael moving just south of Long Island on Friday as a post-tropical storm. However, there remains uncertainty regarding Michael's strength, track and timing as it nears the northeast and thus any impacts are still uncertain.
Florida Emergency Management has begun to assess the need for Type II Swift Water Rescue Teams through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). New York stands ready, and has offered through EMAC, to deploy a Type II Swift Water Rescue Team consisting of 15 personnel and equipment, should the state's assistance be required.
At the Governor's direction New York State has recently improved the NY-Alert emergency alerting system. NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit alert.ny.gov for more information.
Flood Safety Tips
If traveling during heavy rain, please drive with care and keep these safety tips in mind:
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
- Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
- As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
- Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
- Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
- If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.
Prepare for flooding and severe weather
- Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
- Develop and practice a 'family escape' plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
- Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
- Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
- Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
- Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
- Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing
Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards
- Know the hurricane risks in your area - learn the storm surge history and elevation of your area
- Learn about local community's sheltering plans, including the location of official shelters
- Pay attention to the news. Know the Emergency Alert System radio and television stations in your area that will carry official information. Also, monitor NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts, if possible
- Learn the warning signals and evacuation plans of your community
- Have at least a one-week supply of medications on hand
- Determine if your family has any special needs and develop a plan for meeting those needs
- For example: If you have a family member on a life-support system, does your electric utility know about it? Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their County Emergency Management Office
- Make plans now on what to do with your pets should you be required to evacuate your residence.
- Teach all family members, including children, how and when to call 911 or your local EMS phone number
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones or save them in your contacts on your cell phone
- Discuss with family members what they should do in the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or severe storm. Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as a fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you cannot return home
- Designate an out-of-area friend or relative whom separated family members should call to report their whereabouts. Make certain all family members have the phone number
- Install safety features in your residence such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
- Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home
- Check your home and property for potential hazards to see what actions need to be taken to ensure your safety and to protect your belongings
- Review your insurance policy. Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowner's insurance. Inventory household items with photograph
- Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood
- If applicable, determine where to move your boat in an emergency
For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website at www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/index.cfm.