NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2012

NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for

Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy

>> NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage.

>> NYSEG and RG&E remind customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

>> For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1121; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1702.

Rochester, NYNYSEG and RG&E emergency planners are closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing for the possible effects of Hurricane Sandy. Depending on the exact track of the storm, portions of the NYSEG and RG&E service areas could experience considerable wind and significant rainfall early next week. NYSEG and RG&E are concerned with the potential impact of falling limbs and trees on power lines and also with possible flooding that could affect both electricity and natural gas facilities.

NYSEG and RG&E front line and support personnel across the state are on heightened alert, the companies’ customer relations centers are prepared and materials are on hand to repair any damage to the companies’ energy delivery systems.

NYSEG and RG&E offer customers the following storm tips:

Before a storm strikes

–     Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact their   utility right away (NYSEG: 1.800.572.1111; RG&E: 1.800.743.2110) right away. Customers   may be enrolled in a critical customer program or provided specific advice on how to prepare          for power interruptions.

–       Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio or TV and fresh batteries handy.

–       Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)

–       Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.

–       Make sure cell phone batteries are fully charged.

During a power interruption

–       Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

–       To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131; RG&E at 1.800.743.1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at nyseg.com or rge.com.

–       Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.

–       Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.

–       Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

–       Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.

–       Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After your power is restored

–       If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.

–       Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

–       Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

# # #

About NYSEG, RG&E and Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. NYSEG serves 878,000 electricity customers and 261,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 367,000 electricity customers and 303,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company. For more information, visit www.nyseg.com, www.rge.com and www.iberdrolausa.com.

Follow Us on Twitter: @NYSEandG, @RGandE, @IberdrolaUSA

Media Contacts:   Clayton Ellis cmellis@nyseg.com 607.762.7336

Dan Hucko   Daniel_Hucko@rge.com   585.724.8825

If you Dial 911 by mistake, DO NOT hang up!

What to do if you misdial 911
– Don’t hang up. Stay on the line and talk to the dispatcher, explaining why you called 911 and whether it was in error. A police officer will be sent to your home, but if the dispatcher can determine that it’s not an emergency, the officer can first respond to more important calls.
– If you call accidentally from a cell phone, stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher why or how you called and where you are calling from.
How to avoid misdialing 911
– Take your time when dialing the 914 area code. Wear reading glasses if you can’t see the phone’s keypad.
– Be careful when your phone is in your pocket. Many 911 misdials are done accidentally with cell phones when the caller accidentally hits the memory key programmed for 911.
– Don’t let children play with old cell phones. Even if there is no service on the phone, it is capable of calling 911.
Source: Robert Cuomo, Director Emergency Medical Services, Putnam County.

 

To read the full article on 911 hangups from LoHud, please click HERE.

 

Partners in Preparedness 2012 Newsletter (Fall Edition)

This Partners in Preparedness newsletter is a product of the New York State Department of Health and is intended to provide information to organizational and community leaders about ways to foster individual preparedness and community resilience.

We’ve all recently seen the devastating effects that natural and manmade disasters can have on a community. As a trusted leader, you have the ability to influence people to make decisions that will have a direct impact on how well your community responds and recovers from an emergency.

Within these pages, you will find important information you can utilize for your bulletin or newsletter that could be vital to help your constituents be better prepared for various hazards. Also, as we face challenging economic times, many of the tips provided are no-cost or low-cost and easy to do.

[button link=”http://www.putnamcountyny.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Partners_in_Preparedness_Fall_2012.pdf” color=”green” text=”light”]Partners in Preparedness Newsletter[/button]

 

September is National Preparedness Month: Putnam County Supports Ninth Annual Observance

September is National Preparedness Month: Putnam County Supports Ninth Annual Observance

 Brewster, NY- National Preparedness Month (NPM) is held each September to encourage Americans to prepare for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. Supported by County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her office, the Bureau of Emergency Services (BES) and the Department of Health (DOH), this year’s month-long effort marks the ninth edition of the annual observance, established in response to the events of September 11. The event is sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with the Citizens Corps Council, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown safety. Putnam County’s Medical Reserve Corps is a part of this national organization. With its more than 250 members, it is a crucial addition to the county’s emergency response plan.

The key messages for individuals during NPM are preparation and self-reliance. Residents should be prepared to manage three days without utilities including electricity and water, and access to supermarkets or other local services. Residents should also be prepared for the possibility of limited response from police, fire, and emergency medical services or rescue, as they may need to focus first on large, widespread problems.

-more –

The Putnam County BES, in collaboration with the county DOH, stress the importance of being prepared for any type of emergency—be it a weather-related natural disaster, like the

October 2011 snow storm, or a man-made catastrophe like September 11. The following suggestions are offered as a start for individuals and families to plan their preparedness:

  • Stock a first aid kit and emergency supplies to meet your family’s needs for three days at minimum. Make sure every family member knows where these supplies are stored.
  • Have a battery-operated radio, with back-up batteries. Listen to media reports for up-to-date information. WHUD (100.7 FM Radio) and WFAS (103.9 FM, 1230AM Radio) provide local information. On television, News Channel 12 Hudson Valley provides the local view.
  • Make sure at least one phone will operate without electricity. If you use a cordless phone, have a spare, hard-wired phone to plug directly into the phone jack, typically on the wall. With cell phones, have a car charger available for recharging purposes.
  • Keep important phone numbers written down and available by each phone in the house.
  • Know the best escape route from each room in the house.
  • Plan locations where family members will meet in case they cannot get home. One spot should be near your home, another should be outside your neighborhood.
  • Review and be familiar with your child’s school emergency plan.

 

Specialized services: NY-Alert, Medical Reserve Corp, and 2-1-1

In times of emergency, specialized services can make all the difference in individual and family safety. New York Alert, the Putnam County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the 2-1-1 Call Center are some examples of free available resources.

NY-Alert is the New York State All-Hazards Alert and Notification system committed to providing current information about risks, threats and appropriate responses. With a free sign-up,

residents can receive warnings and information via their cell phone, email, web or other technologies. Personal information is completely protected and never shared. The selected alerts

can be modified or cancelled at any time by the subscriber. For more information, visit: www.nyalert.gov

The Medical Reserve Corps supports the health and well-being of county residents during a time of public health emergency, or in the event of a disaster. The organization recruits

and trains volunteers year-round and those who serve in the group come from all walks of life. MRC volunteers are not first responders during a disaster. While some may have strong medical qualifications, others contribute by serving as interpreters or with data entry or patient registration. Each volunteer is an asset to the program and new recruits are always needed and welcomed. For more information, call 845-808-1390 and ask for Keiren Farquhar, MRC Coordinator.

The United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center is available year-round, seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm, and can be expanded to 24/7 coverage during times of disaster. This helpline can be reached by simply pressing 2-1-1 on the phone and call specialists provide “one-stop” access to information and referrals to health and human services organizations most appropriate for each caller. Specialists are available to communicate in more than 200 languages.

Numerous other resources exist to assist individuals and families plan their preparedness. Emergency preparedness has vastly improved during the last decade. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of these resources. Please visit FEMA’swww.ready.gov, or BES website at www.pcbes.org. Another helpful resource is the website of the Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/features/beready/.

Do you have a question that you can’t find the answer to? Call the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services today.

Do you have any questions and cant find the answers? Call the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services today at 845-808-4000. Or you may contact the RED CROSS at any time.

Call the Red Cross Today!

It’s never too late to be prepared

Your Pets Need a Plan Too!

Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and well­being. The best way to ensure the safety of your family is to be prepared with a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan includes your pets. Being prepared can help save lives.

Be RED CROSS Ready

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

A natural disaster can happen at any time. Some disasters give warning like a storm preceding a flood.  Others, like earthquakes give no warning.  Once a disaster happens, the time to prepare is gone and all you can do is cope.  Take the next few minutes to examine what you can do to prepare.  Anything you do today will be like making a deposit in your survivability savings account for withdrawal in tough times.

The website below will help you prepare in the event of an emergency.  

http://theepicenter.com/howto.html

Be Informed & Make a Plan

Would you know what to do if a natural disaster hit your town? Would you have the right survival tools to help you through it? Does your family have an action plan? What if your home has a fire? Do you have a planned escape route? If not, click on the website below and get started! You can never be too prepared for disaster. Help the ones you love and prepare yourself today!

http://www.ready.gov/

Are you Prepared?

In a major disaster, it might be several days before vital services are restored. This website is a great reference for information regarding different disasters you may encounter in a life time. One would hope these disasters never occur, but you can never be so sure. Click on the link below to see how you can prevent yourself from injury and always be prepared in the case of a terrible event.

http://72hours.org/index.html