Henri was a wake up call that more severe weather events are happening more frequently. Henri dumped somewhere between 4”-6” of rain on our area. At 7” we experience major flooding in Mamaroneck, so we were very close to a multi-million dollar disaster.
In an on-going series, Ed Merians, former Chairman and a Disaster Services volunteer for the American Red Cross in Westchester, will show us how to plan for emergencies before they happen. Our objective is to help readers have their own customized set of plans for emergencies, and hopefully, feel more prepared.
Can you remember these recent storms?:
Henri – August 2021
Tropical storm Isaias August 2020
Andrea – June 2013
Irene – August 2013
Superstorm Sandy – October 2012
Halloween storm October 2011
Hanna – August 2008
Barry – May 2007
March 2007 flood
(there have been more than 20 damaging and/or potentially devastating storms since 1960 in our area.)
With Henri still fresh in our minds, let’s start with what to do in case of flooding. Hurricanes are just one type of weather event that can cause major flooding problems. We routinely receive spankings from nor’easters, tropical storms and blizzards and line squalls. We’ve even had a short lived tornado or two.
Some decisions to consider
Decision 1: Make a plan to ensure your family’s safety. If you are told to evacuate do so at once. Now is the time to choose a location to go, meet up with family or friends. Everyone should know where to go before you are told to evacuate. After you’ve been told to evacuate, you are on your own. Not leaving risks the lives of our first responders, Town and Village workers who may choose to come get you, never mind yourself. Please don’t stay behind.
Decision 2 : Choose your emergency family contact. Select a person who does not live around here and share with members of your family so they know who to text or call to find out where family members are in an emergency. I suggest an out-of-town friend or relative because sometimes local phone networks become quickly overwhelmed while long distance may have available bandwidth.
Decision 3: Do you need flood insurance? Is it excluded on your policy? Carefully review your current homeowners policy. If you have ever been denied flood insurance please let us know. To protect your privacy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don’t list that information in the comments below.
Decision 4: Do you commute to Manhattan? How will you return home if train service is disrupted by a flash flood or some other event? Where will you go if you can’t get home? If you require a special diet you may need to make further arrangements.
Keep an extra phone charger, masks, snacks, water and hand sanitizer, mini rolls of toilet paper in your car and at the office. Not a lot. If you require lifesaving medicine think about investing in an extra 30 day supply to keep in your office or briefcase if your medicine is at home and you can’t get there.
To be continued