October 30, 2012

Take precautions during storm


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ALBANY — The New York State Office of Emergency Management offered these safety tips as Hurricane Sandy approached.

When the storm strikes:

▶ If you are traveling, find safe shelter immediately.

▶ Have a plan for those with special needs, children, the elderly and pets.

▶ If you have been ordered to evacuate, do so. If not, stay put in a well-constructed building.

▶ Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.

▶ Turn off utilities and propane tanks if told to do so by authorities.

▶ Unplug small appliances.

▶ Fill large containers with water.

If winds become strong:

▶ Stay away from windows and doors even if they are covered. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway. Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors. If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room, such as a bathroom or closet. If you are in a multiple-story building and away from the water, go to the first or second floors and take refuge in the halls or other interior rooms away from the windows. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

▶ Remain indoors during a hurricane or coastal storm.

E Follow the instructions and advice of local government officials. If you are advised to evacuate, do so promptly.

If inland flooding occurs:

▶ Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so your evacuation routes are not cut off.

▶ Avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep your vehicle away.

▶ Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.

▶ After a flood, you should test drinking water for potability, and wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking.

▶ Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters. Wash canned goods that come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water.

▶ Stay away from downed power lines.

In case of power outage:

▶ Turn off major appliances to prevent damage from a possible surge when the power comes back on. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns.

▶ Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage.

▶ Check to see if your neighbors have power.

▶ Use only flashlights for emergency lighting; candles pose the risk of fire.

▶ Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut to keep food from spoiling.

▶ Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat; they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.

▶ Stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors.

▶ Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.