As Westchester County municipalities prepare for a major storm from Hurricane Sandy almost exactly one year after a snowstorm struck the area, Con Edison officials say they are ready.
"All company personnel and field crews are preparing for high winds, heavy rains and flooding conditions that could wallop electric, gas and steam systems when the storm moves into New York City and Westchester County," the company said in a statement today.
Those who use Con Edison's service in the county may want to have their account numbers easily accessible in case of any disruptions over the next several days. The company advises:
Customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, it is helpful if customers have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power. Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.
If the storm does impact the Westchester County area, residents are advised to take the following precautions and safety steps:
- If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. 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 working. 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.
- Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. 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.
In Westchester, the county has also been busy preparing for the storm.
“All relevant county departments are preparing in case this storm seriously impacts us,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said in a statement. “We hope we will not be severely affected by Sandy, but we must be prepared.”
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.
"I urge New Yorkers to plan for hurricane conditions and follow news reports to stay updated on the storm's progress," he said today.
How have you been preparing for the storm? Tell us in the comments.