Preparing for 2014 Storms

How do you prepare for storms in New York? Below are a few helpful hints and tricks to know before, during and after a storm that will visit the State of New York.

Air Horn/Whistle
Should you become trapped in your home by fallen debris, an air horn or whistle can come in handy to alert rescue teams or those who reside close to you.

Batteries will come in handy to power your portable radios and portable television when the power is out and will minimize the use of a backup generator which can cause carbon monoxide if not used properly.

Have a visual record of your valuables before the storm to aid with insurance claims from damage or theft during the storm.

Be sure to clean any clothing before a storm hits since the power and water may not be available for days causing you to have less to wear. If water is available, your use may be restricted by your city official so be sure to have them cleaned in time.

Objects that are outside (lawn furniture, potted plants, trash cans) can become projectiles during heavy winds so these objects should be secured or placed in a garage or indoors if space allows. Those who have gas grills should make sure that the gas tank valve is closed properly to prevents leaks from any connected gas hose that come loose.

Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your dwelling that does not depend fully on electricity to operate or you will loose the aid of these safety devices when the power is lost in your area.

Response time by first responders can drastically increase in storms so have an extinguisher which can help to extinguish any small fires inside the home or outside from a lighting strike.

Having a flashlight is safer than using candles which can cause an fire in your home if not used properly. Replacement bulbs and batteries should be kept on hand as well if the flashlight allows these parts to be changed.

Not all banks are open seven days per week but they do have ATM’s available which requires power to operate. If your financial institution looses power, you may have to use ATM’s from other banks which could cost you up to US$6.00 in withdrawal fees. If you decide to use your credit or debit card to make the purchase in local stores, be aware that the vendor may not be able to process your transactions if they can not access their (POS) point of sale terminal.

After a storm, most gas stations reduce their hours or will be closed due to wind or debris damage, loss of electricity or maybe they are simply out of fuel as the delivery truck is unable to make it there safely so be sure that you have a full tank of gas in your vehicle after receiving storm warnings from local radio and television stations so that you will not have to compete with other locals and tourists trying to leave your city.

If you have a pump to move water, be sure to have a hose where you can run water further away from your property or it will return if it is dumped too close.

With standing water around, there will be an increased chance for mosquitoes to live, feed and grow so be sure to have some insecticide around and repellent. Your city may receiving spraying after a storm as well so be sure to protect your pets who can now stay outdoors.

Gas stoves require matches or electricity to create a flame so have some handy in a container that can not be accessed easily by young children or water that enters your residence.

Your local pharmacy may loose there inventory during a severe storm so be sure that you have your medication before a storm hits and keep in the temperature range as required to maintain its effectiveness.

Floods and fallen trees can make parking spots very limited on city streets so keep this in mind if you plan to move your vehicle to get gasoline from a station that may not even open service or have the fuel grade you vehicle requires. If you do find places to park, make sure that it is not on a snow emergency routes which can cause the city to tow it to an impound lot.

Be sure that you have a phone that does not require electricity (ie. cordless phone) to operate or you will not be able to send or receive any calls when the power fails or communicate if there are heavy interference nearby. Cell phone devices should be charged up and any additional batteries.

June – Too Soon: It is too soon for storms but they can happen.
July – Standby: Start checking over your needed supplies.
August – A Must: Expect frequent storms near and in New York.
September – Remember: Remember tips to apply to the next storm.
October – All Over: Storms should be over to repair damages.

Having a pump will aid in removing water from the lowest sections of your dwelling. Be sure to have one that can operate without the aid of electricity since you may be without power. If it requires power, be sure it can be powered from any vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

Storms can unfortunately bring delays on buses, subways and trains and in some instances cause suspensions during major storms so keep alert to local radio and television stations for updates.

Dried leaves on your property can block drains needed to move water away from your property so have these move regularly before the storm hits as they are also a fire hazard as well from lighting strikes.

During a storm, it is very easy for the water supply to become contaminated which will require you to boil your water before it can be consumed. Most people will not want to boil their water so after a storm, the stores shelves will have a hard time staying full due to other consumers taking them as fast as the employees can stack them. If you have the budget, try to have at least one week worth drinking water per person so that if public works has to shut off the line for repairs, you will have water for drinking, brushing your teeth, cooking and more. Please note that water does have an expiration so try to use and replenish any stored water you have from time to time.

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