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Public Service Announcements

Disaster Preparedness Advice

stormpic(4)Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes

Recent events throughout the country – Hurricane Katrina being the most notable – have proven the importance of being prepared when disaster strikes. Hazards – natural events such as hurricanes, floods, winter storms, and power outages, or man-made events such as terrorist acts – can strike any community at any time. Here in the City of Rye, we are prone to weather events that can result in flooding and power outages. Experience has shown that even a moderate storm can result in the loss of power for several days, so it is important to be prepared to deal with the challenges nature may present to us.

What can you do to prepare for an emergency?

Develop an emergency plan for your family.

  • Know a safe route from your home or workplace to high ground or shelter.
  • Designate a meeting place in the event that members of the family are separated and communications are out (severe weather events can disrupt both land line and cellular telephone service).
  • Make a list of valuables and keep it in a safe place.

Stock up on emergency supplies.

  • Have enough water and non-perishable food on hand to be able to “shelter in place” at home for three days.
  • Have a “Go Bag” – a sturdy, easy to carry backpack or wheeled suitcase – packed and ready if you have to evacuate without notice. It should contain:
    • Bottled water and non-perishable food (like energy bars)
    • A flashlight
    • A battery-operated radio and extra batteries
    • A list of medications taken by each member of the family and other necessary personal items
    • Contact information for members of the household and for other relatives and friends you may need to contact during the crisis
    • Child care supplies or other special-need items
    • Cash (ATMs may be down, as well as credit card processing networks)
  • Consider equipping your home with a generator.

Increase your awareness.

Information is power. Know:

  • If your home is in or near a flood zone
  • Where the nearest shelter location is
  • Where to obtain weather and other emergency information from radio and television broadcasts, the Internet, or other notification systems. Monitor the weather and prepare accordingly.

Make preparations for your pets.

Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters. Plan in advance for alternative shelter arrangements for your pets. If you are not home when the emergency strikes, have a plan worked out with your neighbors or friends to care for your pets.

Listen to advice and direction from Public Safety personnel.

  • If local officials advise you to evacuate, do so promptly. Their advice is based on all available information, experience, and training, and a decision to evacuate is not made lightly.
  • Do not drive or walk through flooded areas. Water can be contaminated by backed-up sewage; it may contain unseen hazards such as open manhole covers; and it may be electrified by downed power lines. All can cause serious injury or death.
  • Never cross barricades or emergency lines set by Police or Fire personnel. They are there to protect you and others from a hazard.
  • Treat all downed power lines as live. Even a single household line contains sufficient voltage to kill.
  • Do not travel unnecessarily. Avoid danger, and permit emergency personnel and utility crews to return the area to a safe condition.

This is but a brief overview of measures you can take to protect yourself and your family during an emergency. Additional information can be obtained from a number of sources, including the City of Rye; the New York State Emergency Management Office; the New York State Office of Homeland Security; and

Public Information Concerning Flood

To report emergencies where there is an immediate and serious threat to life or property, call 911.

If you have experienced property or vehicle damage from the recent storm and flood, you should contact your insurance agent.

If you have any questions or concerns related to health issues associated with the flood, please contact the Westchester County Health Department hotline at (914) 813-5000.

If water has entered your home you should contact a licensed electrical inspector to have your home inspected and certified as safe to enter. If there is any sign of structural damage to your home (loose foundation, shifting of the structure, etc.) you should contact a structural engineer for an inspection.

Home improvement contractors licensed to do business in Westchester County may be found at Westchester County's licensed home improvement contractors website. Alternatively you may search the yellow pages for a contractor.

Please note that severe injury or death can occur if there is standing water in your home and you still have electric service. If this condition exists you should vacate your home until an electrical inspection has been made and the home certified as safe to use. Likewise, a home with obvious structural damage should be vacated until inspected and certified as safe by a structural engineer.

You should maintain records of any items lost due to flood or water damage, including receipts for repairs and/or replacement items, and take photographs if possible of damage, to facilitate your claim with your insurance company.

For additional help, please see:

Dead Bird Sightings

The Westchester County Health Department is requesting that all dead bird sightings be reported to them by calling 813-5194. Current West Nile virus information can be found on the Westchester County Department of Health Website. Based on the situation, the staff will tell individuals whether the Westchester County Department of Health wants the bird for testing and if not, how to dispose of the bird.

Check the Westchester County Health Department site for up to date spraying info.

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