YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown officials are taking no chances with preparation for Hurricane Sandy and the damage the storm may bring when it rolls into town next week.
Police, fire, ambulance, town and school officials met Friday afternoon in a special meeting of the Emergency Preparedness Committee to discuss preparations they have made and how they plan to deal with the aftermath.
“We have deployed our loaders and our backhoes throughout the entire town,” said Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo. “The trucks are loaded with barricades, the chain saws are all ready. People are going to get flooded. There is no doubt.”
With all municipalities expected to be hit equally hard by the storm, Yorktown expects that it will be on its own for the first few days and will not receive much help from outside companies and organizations. Officials are asking Yorktown residents to be self-sufficient for the first 24 to 48 hours, barring an emergency.
“We ask that everybody be prepared now. Get outside now and get the things that you’re going to need to make yourself self-sustainable now,” said Yorktown Public Safety Officer Larry Eidelman. He recommended buying ice, batteries, gasoline, portable radios and water.
Eidelman and other emergency responders urged residents not to call emergency lines unless it is completely necessary.
“Please try not flood our emergency lines, our 911 lines, with calls for information,” he said. “We will try to get information out as much as we can, but questions like, ‘How are the roads?’ really overwork our front desks.”
DiBartolo ended the meeting with a simple message. If you don’t need to go out, then stay at home.
“Once you get in a predicament, the Fire Department, police, ambulance and us have to come get you,” DiBartolo said. “So now we’re jeopardizing for one person that needed to go to 7/11 and get a Slurpee, we got $2 million worth of equipment and 35 people running around. And it’s not necessary.”
Supervisor Michael Grace said dry ice will likely be limited after the storm, but pickup for Consolidated Edison customers will be at the Jefferson Valley Mall and at the Triangle Center for New York State Electric & Gas customers.
“Do not listen to rumors,” Grace said. “Those two locations will be the only locations.”
The committee will reconvene Sunday morning for a follow-up meeting. Friday’s meeting will be broadcast throughout the weekend on Cablevision channel 20 and FIOS channel 33.