I just noticed that the two emails I sent out to my county legislator email list – one before the storm and one during storm recovery when I regained internet access – were never added to my blog, so here they are:
Saturday, October 28, 2012
Storm Preparations Update from Westchester County Government
Please be safe from the upcoming storm and take steps to ensure you are prepared. Here is an update from the Westchester County Government to help you prepare for the so-called “Frankenstorm” and its expected flooding, high winds and potential power outages.
- Have a plan – A family emergency plan should include deciding where to go in the event you have to leave your home. Check in with family members that have special needs. Don’t forget to make plans as well as your pets.
- Make a kit – specifically, a go-bag for use in an evacuation and a household disaster kit to enable a family to survive at home for several days without electricity. Suggestions for items to include in each can also be found on the county’s web site (www.westchestergov.com).
- Stay informed – Keep up-to-date on the progress of any storm and the protective actions being recommended by government agencies in response.
- Check on supplies – Make sure you have flashlights and batteries on hand as well as at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable foods.
- Check medications – Make sure to have an ample supply of any medications you may be taking.
- Print out a list of important phone numbers.
- Residents with oil tanks should top off their tanks and tighten the cap to prevent spills. Above-ground tanks should also be strapped to a secure fixture to prevent tipping in case of flooding or powerful winds.
- If the power fails, keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible to keep food from spoiling.
- If you lose power, call Con Edison directly. The phone numbers are: Con Ed power outage or gas and electrical service problems: (800) 75-CONED.
- Secure or put away any items outside your home that could be blown away or damaged by high winds.
Residents looking for further non-emergency information should call 2-1-1. United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline offers information about shelters, evacuation routes, road closures, recovery services, power outages, donations, volunteer opportunities, and other disaster-related services. Call specialists can communicate with callers in more than 250 languages. The line is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week with expanded hours possible during emergencies.
Here is a link for additional storm preparation information the Westchester County: http://keepingsafe.westchestergov.com/be-prepared
Here is a link about power outage preparations from The Journal News: http://www.lohud.com/article/20121027/NEWS/310260125
Good luck and let’s all hope the storm is not as bad as many are predicting.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Storm’s Aftermath and New Rochelle Power Restoration
It’s been a rough week. Unfortunately, more than half of New Rochelle still does not have power, including my house. Those without power are frustrated. And yet, when we look at photos and video from NJ and NYC, we realize that many have it much worse than us.
Regarding power restoration, I agree the pace is slow. Con Ed simply has not had enough crews. This storm covered a massive area and neighboring states have their own problems and could not send us help. The good news is that help (in the form of extra utility workers) is arriving right now from across the country. Over the past three days, the limited Con Ed crews assigned to New Rochelle have only concentrated on critical sites such as schools, nursing homes, medical facilities and major intersections, as well as downed wires and other emergency situations. Crews have not focused yet on neighborhood power restoration. Some neighborhoods have been restored only because they were located next to the critical facilities mentioned above. Con Ed is also focusing on getting polling places fixed for Election Day.
I have been in regular communication with the New Rochelle Mayor and City Manager and Westchester County Executive and his staff. We are all working in the same direction and troubled by the slow pace of repairs. Be careful of rumors – constituents have contacted me after hearing rumors that were totally untrue. I also recommend conserving your car’s gas, as the lines at gas stations are extremely long.
I will continue pushing Con Ed to make neighborhood power restoration a priority as soon as possible and ask my fellow elected officials to do the same. We need better results from Con Ed over the weekend.
If you have any questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact me:
Lastly, I post every useful update I receive on my personal Facebook page, so please check it regularly: http://www.facebook.com/jim.maisano
Hang in there – we will get through this difficult time soon.