As you’ve no doubt heard, Hurricane Irene is rapidly approaching our area — recent reports suggest that New York City will begin to experience tropical storm or hurricane conditions starting late Saturday Night and continuing all day Sunday, with a potential of 6 to 12 inches of rain and extremely high winds (estimated at 70+ mph). Woodhaven is currently listed as a Zone C, which states that we are in danger of potential flooding from a Category 3-4 hurricane. Under these conditions, we could also be at risk of losing electrical power. Click here to view a map of Hurricane Zones as well as Evacuation Centers.
This is important because you will hear alerts that the Mayor has ordered a mandatory evacuation of all “Zone A” areas as well as the “Zone B” portion of the Rockaway Peninsula. Woodhaven has NOT been ordered to evacuate.
Governor Cuomo has declared a state of emergency and NYC has already announced plans for shutting down the ENTIRE transit system effective Noon tomorrow.
We will be on the air LIVE TONIGHT AT 10 PM — click here at 10 PM to listen. We will discuss the latest news about Irene and hurricane precautions. During the show you can call in and share your opinions — 646-378-1612.
Needless to say, this all sounds scary — but it’s best to prepare for the worst. Attention to all our Block Captains, we will be reaching out to you for a report late Sunday, early Monday — you will be getting a follow-up e-mail before the storm hits. Click here to see a map of all the blocks that have a captain — if your block does not have a Block Captain, please consider signing up. It’s a way for us to be organized — to quickly gather information about conditions in our community in the event of an emergency (flooding, downed trees, power outages). E-mail us at email@example.com or call 718-296-3735 if interested in signing up, or if you have questions.
Here are a few sites you may finds useful:
The Latest Weather for Woodhaven – Click here to see the latest forecast, or click here for a Hurricane Irene tracker.
A Guide to Preparing for an Emergency in NYC – This useful guide provides you with some handy checklists of things to think about in advance. Are you prepared?
NYC Severe Weather Updates – Click here for the latest updates on Irene from NYC.
Tips and Things to Think About
- Follow all official instructions for Evacuation and Emergency warnings to stay off the road. Get out today and get your supplies. Do not take warnings of dangerous conditions lightly.
- Gas up your vehicles ahead of time. Gas stations may close early – head out today and fill up your tank.
- Make sure any loose items on your porch or in your backyard are secured. In a hurricane, these items can become lethal objects.
- Have Cash on hand. If there’s a power outage, credit cards will not be accepted in most locations.
- Have batteries and flashlights on hand. Make sure they work. Try not to use candles. The last thing you need is a fire!
- Make sure you have all of your critical medication on hand, in the house, before Irene hits.
- Have a 3-day non-perishable food supply on hand. Have 1 gal water per person per day/plan for 3 day minimum.
- Have personal documents on hand in dry bag or sealed plastic bag.
- Have “old electronic” radio on hand (battery or crank).
- If you have elderly neighbors, please check in on them today and make sure they are okay and that they have your number (or the number of someone they can call for help).
- Prepare for a few days indoors. Do not head outdoors during the storm.
Con Edison’s Safety Advice
ConEdison will be on high-alert throughout the storm. Customers can report power interruptions or service problems at www.conEd.com or at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). As a reminder:
- If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.
- Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
- If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
- Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are in working order. Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages can be heard on most local radio and television stations.
- In the event that you lose electricity, limit how much you open your freezer or refrigerator. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.
Messages From Our Elected Officials To Woodhaven Residents
Sen. Joe Addabbo: If you have any emergencies over the weekend please call my 24 hour hotline at 718-738-1111 so we can start working on your issues immediately.
Assemblyman Mike Miller: If our office can be of any assistance to you before, during, or after the storm, please feel free to contact us 24/7 at 718-805-0950. As always we will have someone answering the phone during all hours of the day and night.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley: If you have any questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to call my office at 718-366-3900. Our office will be open from 9-3 on Saturday and when appropriate on Sunday, so feel free to visit us at 64-77 Dry Harbor Rd. Middle Village.
Councilman Eric Ulrich: My Ozone Park district office will be OPEN all weekend to assist people who need help. (718) 738-1083
You can also call the WRBA at 718-296-3735 — but you will need to leave a message. Once again, consider becoming a Block Captain — you’ll be more “plugged in” during an emergency.