September 14, 2018 – Westchester County Executive George Latimer is urging residents to review their emergency plans and obtain critical supplies in case any severe weather strikes Westchester during hurricane season.

“Now is the time to assemble the essential items that you would need at home if a major storm hits and causes flooding or power outages.  These items can quickly disappear from store shelves when a storm is looming or has just occurred,” said Latimer.

According to County Emergency Responders, residents should have several days’ worth of food, water, medicine and other critical supplies like flashlights and batteries on hand in the event that they are stuck in their homes without power. Residents should also have a “go-bag” ready in case they are asked to evacuate on short notice during an emergency, some cash available in the event that ATM’s and credit card machines are out of service, and they should keep the fuel tank full in their vehicles.  

            “In recent years, severe storms have caused significant property damage and extended power outages in Westchester,” Latimer said. “We don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us this hurricane season so hope for the best but plan for the worst.”

            Commissioner John M. Cullen of the Department of Emergency Services (DES) said hurricane season runs through Dec. 1. He recommended that people create a disaster preparedness kit that includes: one gallon of water per person per day; a three-day supply of canned, packaged or other foods that do not need refrigeration or need to be cooked, a manual can opener, flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.

            Foods that can be stored include: ready-to-eat canned meats and fish, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal, granola, peanut butter, nuts, crackers and canned fruit juice.

            Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of the Department of Health, said food safety and generator safety are essential during any power outage or emergency.

 If you lose power, Amler said here’s how to ensure you feed your family safely:

  • Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible. Do not assume refrigerated foods are safe. If food is still fully frozen, it is safe to use.
  • Foods that have warmed to room temperature for more than two hours or have come into contact with flood waters should be discarded. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • During a prolonged outage, these foods are potentially hazardous if not stored below 45 degrees Fahrenheit and should be discarded.  
  • After disposing of spoiled food, disinfect the refrigerator to avoid further contamination.
  • Discard any cans of food that are rusted, dented or opened.
  • If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again.
  • Storm clean-up can produce a great deal of garbage, which invites insects and rodents. Store your garbage in watertight, rodent/insect-proof containers with tight-fitting covers.

 Residents and business owners with generators are reminded of the following safety tips:

  • Never run a generator in a basement, garage, porch or carport. Generators produce carbon monoxide that can quickly be lethal indoors.  Only operate a generator outdoors and away from open windows.
  • Do not exceed the rated capacity of your generator. Overloading your generator can damage it and any appliances connected to it. Fire may result.
  • If your generator has a detachable fuel tank, remove it before refilling. If this is not possible, shut off the generator and let it cool before refilling.
  • Residents with oil tanks should top off their tanks and tighten the cap to prevent spills. Above-ground tanks should also be strapped to a secure fixture to prevent tipping in case of flooding.

If you lose power, call Con Edison or NYS Electric and Gas directly. The phone numbers are: Con Ed power outage or gas and electrical service problems: (800) 75-CONED; NYSEG electricity power outage: (800) 572-1131; NYSEG gas power outage: (800) 572-1121.

            Cullen said families also need to consider what additional preparations may be necessary for people who have special needs or who care for the elderly, infants or pets. Family members also should plan for how they will communicate if local phone service is not available or is overwhelmed by high demand.

 Practical tips on these and other topics can be found at: and