Potter County officials continue to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Department of Emergency Services (DES) and the Potter County Commissioners participated in a conference call with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and PEMA Director Glenn Cannon today. Beginning this afternoon or evening (Monday, Oct. 22), sustained winds of 30- to 40-mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph, are expected to uproot numerous trees in a large portion of northern Pennsylvania, causing property damage and power outages. Flooding is also possible, particularly late Wednesday through Thursday.
Director Cannon urged county, township and borough officials to follow emergency response plans that are to be implemented by the municipal Emergency Management Coordinators (each township/borough is, by law, required to have one) working through the county emergency management coordinator. He also urged residents to check with their relatives and neighbors and help them prepare to sustain themselves for several days without electricity and certain provisions.
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.
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.