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Be storm ready in Queens County

Keep emergency preparedness in mind all year: EMO coordinator

QUEENS COUNTY - Whether it’s snow or ice storms in the winter or flooding, hurricanes, forest fires, drought or other situations during the rest of the year, it’s wise to be prepared.
Brian Hatt, the Region of Queens Emergency Management (EMO) coordinator, urges residents to have a plan and an emergency kit on hand.
“An emergency kit is especially important to have in place as we entre the winter storm season, and there should be one in place year round,” said Hatt.
“EMO recommends that when residents learn of approaching storm systems, they prepare to shelter in their locations for up to 72 hours. This means that in advance of a storm system, they should have enough food, water and a heat source to ensure that they can stay where they are for up to 72 hours, or until it is safe to relocate.”
A basic emergency kit should be portable, in the event that it’s not safe to remain at home. It should contain a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for all residents in the house (two liters of water per person per day); first aid kit; whistle; local maps; sanitation items (towelettes, toilet paper, etc.); change of clothing for everyone; pet food; emergency documents (passport, birth certificates, deeds, insurance); medical supplies; emergency lighting such as flashlights with spare batteries, matches/lighter; blankets and warm clothing; and a battery-powered radio with spare batteries.
Consider having a version of an emergency kit in the family car in the event you are involved in an emergency on the highway. Residents considering the purchase and usage of an outside, portable generator should consult with a qualified electrician, to verify its proper use and service ability during a power outage, prior to buying one.
Prior to and during the recent storm on Boxing Day, which was followed a few days later by another storm, there were questions from the public regarding when comfort stations would open and their locations. Hatt advised that the Region of Queens Municipality’s EMO has several comfort stations throughout Queens with signed agreements in place that will be opened as required. These premises will open when the Region of Queens Municipality and EMO determine it’s required and not all comfort stations will open. One or more may open as the situation warrants. The opening and location of the comfort centre will be determined by the type and location of the emergency.  

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