With the potential of flooding and other weather-related issues predicted for much of the region as a result of the approaching Hurricane Sandy, the Potter County Department of Emergency Services advises everyone to prepare. Weather forecasters are predicting a very powerful, damaging, multi-day storm with high winds, heavy precipitation and flooding in some sections. Snowfall is also possible, depending on the progress of an accompanying weather front. Residents are advised to stay alert by listening to the National Weather Service forecast for updates. Weather updates are available online at weather.gov. Additional information on how to prepare for an emergency can also be found on that site or by calling 1-800-237-3239. Local utility companies are preparing for the possibility of extended power outages, potentially lasting seven days or longer. It’s wise for residents to have on hand:
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors.
- Emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill bathtubs with fresh water.
- Emergency supply of convenience foods.
- Necessary prescription medicines filled and in travel case.
- Extra blankets or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
- List of emergency contacts and phone numbers.
- A hard-wired telephone; many cordless phones may not work if a power outage occurs. Cell phones may not work as well.
If there is a potential for flooding in your area, elevate your furnace, water heater and electrical panel in your home. Gas stoves or other open-flame heat sources should not be used for warmth due to fire danger. Residents are encouraged to fill their vehicle gas tanks, generators, and gas cans, as fuel supplies may be limited during power outages. Sump pumps should also be checked and ready to run for extended periods. Stay away from downed power lines and submerged highway sections.
Residents are encouraged to report any power outages to their local supplier. To report an outage, First Energy customers (West Penn Power & Penelec) should call 1-888-544-4877. First Energy customers can view power outage maps at firstenergycorp.com. Tri-County Rural Electric customers should call 1-800-343-2559 or 716-662-2175 to report power outages. Outage information can be viewed at tri-countyrec.com/trico/stormoutages.asp.
Several inches of rain are being predicted. To help reduce the potential for additional flooding issues, residents should make sure their gutters and storm drains are clean and free of debris.
Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.