WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – County and state officials are warning residents to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which continues to make its way towards New York.
Rain from the storm is expected to start Sunday before midnight, with winds of 24 to 28 mph developing Monday. Heavy rain and wind are expected to continue into Tuesday night before dissipating Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are likely.
Westchester County's Office of Emergency Management is partially staffing its emergency operations center throughout the weekend to monitor the storm.
"All relevant county departments are preparing in case this storm seriously impacts us," said County Executive Robert Astorino. "We hope we will not be severely affected by Sandy, but we must be prepared."
The county has released a list of tips and useful information on its website.
Con Edison said Friday it will have extra crews ready to respond to any problems that occur with the electric, gas and steam systems. Thousands of company employees and field crews will be working around the clock to restore power. The company said it also has secured nearly 500 outside utility contractors to assist with storm restoration, and is working to secure additional mutual aid from utilities in other states.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Friday and warned residents to prepare for the worst.
"With unpredictable weather conditions, we are taking the greatest precautions — especially after our experience from last year's storms, Cuomo said. “I urge New Yorkers to plan for hurricane conditions and follow news reports to stay updated on the storm's progress."
Westchester residents should follow the tips below to prepare for the storm:
- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances and sensitive electronic equipment to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored.
- Operate generators outdoors in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area and never indoors or in a garage.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Make sure your electric stove tops and ovens are off. When the power is restored, the burners may begin heating up and could be a hazard.
- Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.