Important Information for Staten Islanders Regarding Hurricane Irene
Mandatory Evacuation Order Issued For Residents In Zone A & Suspension of MTA Services
With this week’s earthquake, and Hurricane Irene rapidly approaching the east coast, I wanted to provide you with some information on how to best prepare in the event a natural disaster should hit Staten Island.
Recent projections show that Irene may potentially be heading for New York City and the Office of Emergency Management urges New Yorkers to immediately find out if they live in a hurricane evacuation zone. Mayor Bloomberg has issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in Zone A. Residents in Zone A must leave their homes by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow and are strongly encouraged to stay with friends or family outside an evacuation zone. Evacuation Centers will be open today at 4:00 p.m. for residents who have no alternative shelter. Further, the MTA has announced that as of noon tomorrow, all MTA services are scheduled to be suspended until further notice.
lanning ahead is the best way to keep your family and property safe. Please take some time to review this information and be ready for all types of emergencies. Develop a disaster plan and decide where you and your family will meet in the event of an emergency; gather emergency supplies - some to keep in your home and others to keep in backpacks in case you must leave your home in a hurry; and finally, learn how to keep informed about the hazards you may face.
Today, you can take three steps to prepare for all types of emergencies:
~~~ 1. MAKE A PLAN ~~~
Consider developing a disaster plan with your household members to prepare for what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency.
- Decide where your household will reunite after a disaster. Identify two places to meet: one right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center, or place of worship.
- Identify all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
- Designate an out-of-state friend or relative that household members can call if separated during a disaster. If New York City phone circuits are busy, long-distance calls may be easier to make. This out-of-state contact can help you and your family communicate.
- Account for everybody's needs, especially seniors, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.
- Pets are typically not allowed in shelters so be sure to make sheltering plans for your pets.
- Store or secure outside items such as patio furniture or chairs, to keep them from blowing away and causing damage.
- Make sure your car has gas. Gas pumps may not operate if power goes down.
- Have a camera ready to take pictures of any damage.
- Ensure that household members have a copy of your household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets and backpacks. Click here for a sample.
- Practice your plan with all household members.
When developing your family's disaster plan, you should assemble and make copies of vital contact information for each family member. Use Ready New York's Emergency Reference Card to capture this information.
~~~ 2. GET A KIT ~~~
Emergency Supply Kit
Keep enough supplies in your home to survive on your own for at least three days. If possible, keep these materials in an easily accessible, separate container or special cupboard. You should indicate to your household members that these supplies are for emergencies only. Check expiration dates of food and update your kits when you change your clock during daylight-saving times.
- One gallon of drinking water per person per day
- Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Flashlight* (Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
- Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
- Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
- Phone that does not rely on electricity
- Child care supplies or other special care items
Every household should pack a Go Bag - a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation. A Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels. A Go Bag should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year.
- Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
- Extra set of car and house keys
- Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand
- Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars
- Flashlight (Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited life-spans. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs)
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
- Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Medication information and other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- First-aid kit
- Contact and meeting place information for your household, a small regional map, and the New York City Hurricane Evacuation Map
- Child care supplies or other special care items
~~~ 3. BE INFORMED ~~~
In addition to getting emergency alerts and updates through radio and television news, there are a number of other sources you may use to keep informed about the hazards you may face.
Notify NYC is the City’s official source for information about emergency events and important City services. Registration is free and simple. Follow the registration link below to create your account. If you are already enrolled, you can log in to customize your account, For users without email addresses, contact 311 to register by phone.
Registrants can select five notification types for up to five ZIP codes across NYC.
- Emergency Alerts – messages about life-threatening events that may require immediate action. All registrants are automatically added to this list.
- Significant Events Notifications – important information about emergency events, utility outages and other types of high-impact events in your ZIP code.
- Public Health Notifications – information about important public health issues in your community.
- Public School Closing/Delay Advisories – updates about unscheduled public school closings, delays and early dismissals.
- Unscheduled Parking Rules Suspensions – updates about unscheduled suspensions of citywide parking rules .
Click here to register for Notify NYC.
~~~ Please also visit my website, lanza.nysenate.gov, become my fan on Facebook, and sign up for my email updates. I do my best to provide up-to-date information about the issues facing Staten Islanders ~~~
~~~ EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ~~~
Emergencies can pose added challenges for seniors and people with disabilities. Ready New York for Seniors & People with Disabilities provides detailed instructions on developing a disaster plan, assembling an Emergency Supply Kit, and putting together a Go Bag, as well as guidance on creating a support network, preparing for evacuation and sheltering in place.
OEM encourages seniors and people with disabilities to fill out and regularly update the emergency reference card included in the guide so that emergency professionals may refer to the card in the event of an emergency.
~~~ IMPORTANT LINKS, CONTACTS & INFORMATION ~~~
Ø DIAL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES & 311 FOR INFORMATION
Ø Notify NYC - the City’s official source for information about emergency events and important City services.
Ø New York City Hurricane Evacuation Map - New Yorkers should find out if their homes, offices or schools fall within the boundaries of a City evacuation zone. The best way to be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane evacuation is to know your evacuation zone and plan your destination and travel routes ahead of time.
Ø Notify NYC Emergency Reference Card – assemble this card and make copies of vital contact information for each family member.
Ø NYC Severe Weather - for updates on Hurricane Irene.
Ø To report a utility outage contact Con Edison’s 24-hour hotline: 800-752-6633 (TTY: 800-642-2308)
Ø New York City Office of Emergency Management
165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Public Inquiries in NYC: 311
Public Inquiries outside NYC: 212-639-9675
Ø The American Red Cross' Hurricane Safety Check List offers a number of tips about preparing your family and home for a hurricane, as well as what to do if hurricane strikes your area.
Ø INSURANCE RESOURCES:
ü FEMA: 888-379-9531 or www.Floodsmart.gov
ü New York State Department of Insurance: 212-480-6400 or www.ins.state.ny.us
Ø New York State Office of Homeland Security
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 7A
Albany, NY 12242
Ø New York State Emergency Management Office
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12226
Please know that I have been in contact with the Mayor’s office and the Office of Emergency Management to get a full understanding of what steps the City is taking to prepare for this storm. My office is prepared to assist you in any way possible and we will do our best to relay important information in a timely fashion. Please visit my website for updates and more detailed information, and as always, do not hesitate to contact my office at 718-984-4073 should you need additional assistance.
Be safe this weekend.
ANDREW J. LANZA