Heavy Rains and Winds Anticipated with Hurricane Sandy
Residents Urged to Plan Ahead to Protect Themselves & Property
The Bucks County Commissioners and the Bucks County Emergency Management Agency are advising residents to take precautions and prepare themselves in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. The latest forecasts show the storm passing close to Bucks County early next week, bringing with it heavy rain, damaging winds and the potential for major flooding.
"We are asking Bucks Countians to monitor up-to-date weather reports through radio, television, internet and text alerts, and always use common sense during the anticipated storm," Commissioner Chairman Robert Loughery stated. "This could be a very slow moving weather system, with the potential for significant flooding and wind damage."
The Bucks County Emergency Management Agency urges residents to take steps to protect lives and property from effects of the storm system. "I encourage everyone to think about severe weather safety and take the necessary steps to protect their homes and families well in advance," advised county Emergency Services Director John Dougherty. "During recent events such as Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, we saw the devastation that can result."
Prepare your home and family by making sure you have a disaster plan in place, and take the following precautions.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down;
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed and clear debris from gutters and downspouts;
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters if you have them;
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer up to the highest setting, and open them only when necessary - this will assist in keeping your perishables fresh in case of power outages;
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances;
- Fill your car's gas tank, in case of evacuation;
- Talk to your family about an evacuation plan - identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend's home in another town, a motel, etc., plan a meeting place for your family in case you are separated, and if you do not have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
- Have disaster supplies on hand:
- Flashlights and extra batteries;
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries;
- First aid kit and manual;
- Emergency food and water - enough for three days of easy to prepare non perishable items;
- Non-electric can opener;
- Don't forget about your pets.
- Essential medicines/prescriptions - a seven day supply;
- Cash, credit cards and important legal documents - such as insurance information, proof of address, pertinent medical information;
Residents should remain alert and watch rivers and streams. If they rise, people who live near the bodies of water should move quickly to higher ground. Dougherty urges, "Don't drive into low-lying areas or over roads and bridges that are already under water. The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. Turn around, don't drown."
The Bucks County EMA will be monitoring conditions for a potential opening of the Bucks County Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C.). In conjunction with local emergency management officials, the county will deploy emergency assistance as needed.
For more on Hurricane Preparedness and safety, please go to Ready Bucks: Extreme Weather - Hurricane. During the storm, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up-to-date developments, @BucksCountyGovt and keep checking www.buckscounty.org for more detailed information.