With a significant rain storm in the forecast for tonight, County Executive George Latimer is reminding residents once again to take practical steps to be prepared for the impacts of severe weather that might occur this fall and winter.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood watch from 4 p.m. this afternoon through Friday morning. Several inches of rain, high winds and thunderstorms are all possible during this evening’s storm. Local flooding and downed trees or power lines may occur.

“September is National Preparedness Month and this designation is another reminder that we should continue to take practical precautions to be ready for any type of natural disaster or severe weather. As Hurricane Ida recently showed us, severe weather can have devastating consequences, including loss of life, significant flooding and enormous property damage.”

Latimer said residents may have used their emergency supplies during Ida and he urged them to replenish their stockpile of batteries, canned or packaged foods, and other items that are useful to have if you have to shelter-in-place without power. He also said residents should have a go-bag ready in the event they have to leave their homes on short notice for any type of emergency.

Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason provided the following tips to motorists who may be driving when flash flooding occurs:

Commissioner Richard G. Wishnie of the Department of Emergency Services (DES) noted that hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, followed by the arrival of the winter storm season.

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 and eating utensils; flashlights and batteries; a 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 and granola; peanut butter; nuts; crackers and canned fruit juice.

Wishnie said residents can do the following to enhance their preparedness: