Photo courtesy of www.weather.com
Projected path of Hurricane Irene.
Essex County Emergency service personnel are currently working on a plan for the possibility of Hurricane Irene having a major impact on the North Country.
“We are in meetings and are just starting to put together the contingency plan,” Emergency Services director Donald Jaquish said. “We hope to have it out by this afternoon.”
Jaquish said the department will issue media warnings and weather alerts to all of the municipalities within the county, along with suggestions for preparedness.
“We will have tips for people in order to be prepared,” Jaquish said, adding that a major concern is making sure that homeowners take care of any loose items that may be in their yard.
“It’s a very real threat,” Jaquish said. “People need to batten down or bring in loose items because they can become projectiles in harsh winds.”
County Board of Supervisors chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas said that due to the impending storm, the county has issued a state of emergency and postponed the monthly ways and means meeting until Tuesday, Aug, 30, instead of the day before.
“We are on high alert and we are ready if need be,” Douglas said.
The Essex County Department of Public Health also issued a statement about preparation.
They suggest that people prepare for high winds, rain and possible power outages by:
•Keeping your cell phone charged;
•Filling up your car with gas;
•Stocking up on items for 3-5 days such as nonperishable food, water, batteries, candles, first aid supplies, copies of important documents, prescription medications if appropriate, pet supplies;
•Not using generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves, gasoline engines or other fuel-burning devices indoors. Using these indoors, even with doors or windows open, could lead to a poisonous buildup of air in the house. Stay away from downed power lines. Check up on your neighbors and see if they are okay or need help.
For more links on Hurricane Irene & Preparedness visit www.co.essex.ny.us/PublicHealth.
At Elizabethtown Community Hospital, Jane Hooper said the facility is prepared if power should go out and winds cause accidents.
“We have four days worth of extra supplies for the emergency room and the in-patient facility,” Hooper said. “We try to make it so we can be self-sustainable for 96 hours. We have extra fuel for the generator and extra blankets and linen. Staff is ready to come in if needed and we have been coordinating with local EMS and agencies just so we all know what’s going on.”
Jaquish said the department will watch the projections and track Hurricane Irene throughout the weekend.
“We do not know the path for sure, yet,” Jaquish said. “It could move to the east or to the west. If it turns west, then we are in for a more severe event.”