Ready Cornwall 
Joshua T. Wojehowski
Town Supervisor

James A. Gagliano
Mayor
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Last Update: Sat May 18 2024 22:24:58 EDT
Overnight
Patchy fog and a slight chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. Northeast wind around 3 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
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54 F : 3 mph NE

Sunday
Partly sunny, with a high near 71. Northeast wind around 6 mph.
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71 F : 6 mph NE

Situational Awareness

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How Do I?

Helpful information on how get involved in the Cornwall community, find available Cornwall community resources and steps you can take to plan & prepare

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How Do I?

Citizen Corps

The Citizen Corps program was initiated nationally by President Bush after September 11, 2001, encouraging citizens to actively participate in their community in areas such as crime prevention, emergency response, and emergency preparedness and mitigation for not only acts of terror, but for all hazards, including natural, man-made or technological disasters.

The goal of the Citizen Corps program is to create a national network of state and local Citizen Corps Councils to tailor volunteer activities and opportunities to the community and to provide a unified approach to recruitment, retention, and public education and awareness. Local Citizen Corps councils, through their component programs, will offer training to citizens and volunteer opportunities for everyone, including those with special skills and interests.

Every local Citizen Corps council will be different, depending on the needs and the resources of each local community. Communities that are considering establishing a Citizen Corps council should include representatives from the following kinds of organizations or groups (this list is not exclusive; representation on a local Citizen Corps council is locally determined):

  • first responder / emergency management
  • volunteer community
  • elected officials
  • business leaders
  • school systems representatives
  • transportation sector
  • media executives
  • minority and special needs representation
  • leadership from community sub-structure

The five programs under the Citizen Corps umbrella include:

Each program is coordinated by both federal and State agencies at their respective levels. While some communities may choose to be active in all of those programs, others may only choose some of the programs. Additional programs and opportunities for public education, training or volunteer programs that promote community and family safety may be coordinated through a local Citizen Corps council.

The community will benefit from actively participating in the Citizen Corps initiative by achieving a greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control of their community and the hazards they may face. The program will also build community pride and patriotism while preparing us all for helping others in a crisis.

The New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission (DPC) functions as the State Citizen Corps Council, which addresses the key State responsibilities under Citizen Corps and provides recommendations to the Commission as a whole.

Jul 16 2023 12:07 PM
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Find Food

Jul 16 2023 02:12 PM
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Volunteer

In the face of disaster, Americans come together with courage, compassion and unity and ask, How can I help?

There are many ways to get involved especially before a disaster occurs.  The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.  Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.

Get involved before disaster strikes! Here are a few ways you can help through volunteering with a Greater Cornwall Community Emergency Service Organization:

  • Cornwall Fire Department (no website)

  • Cornwall-on-Hudson Fire Department

  • Vails Gate Fire Department

  • Salisbury Mills Fire Department

  • Cornwall Emergency Medical Services

  • Orange County New York : ARES - RACES - SKYWARN :: Eastern New York Section

  • Orange County Amateur Radio Club

    The Orange County Amateur Radio Club, Inc. is a non-profit educational and service organization chartered under the laws of New York State. OCARC is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League, a national association of Amateur Radio clubs.

    Our Members’ interests range from message handling to contesting, experimentation to public service… and even just plain chatting on the air! We share the love of Amateur Radio and fellowship.

    OCARC was established to be an all-volunteer membership club focused primarily on educational and public service aspects of the Amateur Radio Service. Through lectures, formal Amateur Radio classes, and American Radio Relay League-coordinated FCC exam sessions, ham radio is taught to both hams wishing to advance to higher levels of FCC license class and non-hams wishing to obtain an entry level license.

  • Orange County Medical Reserve Corps

    In June 2005, the Orange County Legislature approved the formation of a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) under the Department of Health. In the event of a large-scale public health emergency, the MRC will supplement Orange County Public Health personnel resources with volunteer medical and mental health professionals from the community. In August 2009, the Orange County MRC became a registered unit in the Federal MRC program under the Office of the Surgeon General.
Feb 19 2024 06:46 PM
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Learn About

Learn about the natural, technological & human-caused hazards faced by the Cornwall community, along with our planning & response activities, our recovery & relief efforts, including the proactive measures we take from lessons-learned & through our continuous 24 / 7 monitoring approach that enhances our readiness posture for the "what-if" scenario.

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Learn About

Active Shooter

Here you can learn what to do if you find yourself in an active shooting event, how to recognize signs of potential violence around you, and what to expect after an active shooting takes place. 

Remember during an active shooting to RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.

Be Informed

  • Sign up for an active shooter training.
  • If you see something, say something to an authority right away.
  • Sign up to receive local emergency alerts and register your work and personal contact information with any work sponsored alert system.
  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.

Make a Plan

  • Make a plan with your family, and ensure everyone knows what they would do, if confronted with an active shooter.
  • Look for the two nearest exits anywhere you go, and have an escape path in mind & identify places you could hide.
  • Understand the plans for individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs.

During

RUN and escape, if possible.

  • Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.
  • Leave your belongings behind and get away.
  • Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Call 911 when you are safe, and describe shooter, location, and weapons.

HIDE, if escape is not possible.

  • Get out of the shooters view and stay very quiet.
  • Silence all electronic devices and make sure they will not vibrate.
  • Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
  • Do not hide in groups > spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
  • Try to communicate with police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.
  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.
  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooters view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.

 

FIGHT as an absolute last resort.

    • Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
    • Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
    • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
    • Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.

After

      • Keep hands visible and empty.
      • Know that law enforcements first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
      • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns and may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
      • Officers will shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.
      • Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.
      • Take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded before first responders arrive.
      • If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.
      • While you wait for first responder to arrive, provide first aid. Apply direct pressure to wounded areas and use tourniquets if you have been trained to do so.
      • Turn wounded people onto their sides if they are unconscious and keep them warm.
      • Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long term effects of the trauma.

Resources

In Person Training

We facilitate training and exercises from discussion based to full-scale.  Following the guiding principles of whole community engagement, we ensure everyone with a real-world role or impact is invited to meet and train together.

Following the Homeland Security and Exercise Program HSEEP, we develop, execute, and evaluate exercises that address the priorities established by an organizations leaders.  Exercise evaluation assesses the ability to meet exercise objectives and capabilities by documenting strengths, areas for improvement, core capability performance, and corrective actions in an After-Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP).  Through improvement planning, organizations may take the corrective actions needed to improve plans, build and sustain capabilities, and maintain readiness.

In this way, the use of HSEEP - in line with the National Preparedness Goal and the National Preparedness System - supports efforts across the whole community that improve our capacity to build, sustain, and deliver core capabilities for all-hazards.

Online Training

FEMA - IS-907: Active Shooter: What You Can Do

Everyone can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations.  This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

 

DHS - Active Shooter Preparedness

Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident.  DHS aims to enhance preparedness through a "whole community" approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident.  To access the most applicable information, please select one of the provided categories:

Active Shooter Workshop Participant | Private Citizen | Human Resources or Security Professional | First Responder

 

TEEX - Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE)

In the past two decades, horrific mass shootings have been thrust into public consciousness.  Mitigating the effects of these events is the responsibility of those who serve in our communities public safety organizations.  The public expects an effective and swift response to these threats. Research has shown, however, that many of the mass attacks, or active attack events, are over before law enforcement responders arrive on the scene.

Civilians who find themselves embroiled in such an event must be prepared to take immediate action to save their own lives before law enforcement arrives.  The average response time for police response to an active attack event is three minutes.  Without effective, preplanned response options for civilians at the scene of the attack, many victims can be seriously injured or killed during these three minutes.

This course was designed in conjunction with Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) to provide first responders and other professionals with a model response program they can deliver to civilians within their communities.

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events Train-the-Trainer (CRASE).

Apr 5 2024 12:39 PM
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Biological

Biological agents are organisms or toxins that can kill or incapacitate people, livestock and crops. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick.

The three basic groups of biological agents that would likely be used as weapons are bacteria, viruses and toxins. Most biological agents are difficult to grow and maintain. Many break down quickly when exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, while others, such as anthrax spores, are very long lived. Biological agents can be dispersed by spraying them into the air, by infecting animals that carry the disease to humans and by contaminating food and water.

Delivery methods include:

  • Aerosols, biological agents are dispersed into the air, forming a fine mist that may drift for miles. Inhaling the agent may cause disease in people or animals.
  • Animals, some diseases are spread by insects and animals, such as fleas, mice, flies, mosquitoes and livestock.
  • Food and water contamination, some pathogenic organisms and toxins may persist in food and water supplies. Most microbes can be killed, and toxins deactivated, by cooking food and boiling water. Most microbes are killed by boiling water for one minute, but some require longer. Follow official instructions.
  • Person to person, spread of a few infectious agents is also possible. Humans have been the source of infection for smallpox, plague, and the Lassa viruses.

Before

Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious. While it is possible that you will see signs of a biological attack, as was sometimes the case with the anthrax mailings, it is perhaps more likely that local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention. You will probably learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, or some other signal. You might get a telephone call or emergency response workers may come to your door.

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a biological threat:

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Knowing Cornwall’s warning systems and disaster plans, including evacuation routes.
Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
Make plans for your pets.


Check with your doctor to ensure all required or suggested immunizations are up to date. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to biological agents.
Consider installing a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in your furnace return duct. These filters remove particles in the 0.3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house. If you do not have a central heating or cooling system, a stand alone portable HEPA filter can be used.

Building Filtration Building owners and managers should determine the type and level of filtration in their structures and the level of protection it provides against biological agents. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides technical guidance on this topic in their publication Guidance for Filtration and Air-Cleaning Systems to Protect Building Environments from Airborne Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Attacks. To obtain a copy, call 1 (800) 35NIOSH or visit the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Web site and request or download NIOSH Publication 2003-136.

span class="T2">High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filtration High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are useful in biological attacks. If you have a central heating and cooling system in your home with a HEPA filter, leave it on if it is running or turn the fan on if it is not running. Moving the air in the house through the filter will help remove the agents from the air. If you have a portable HEPA filter, take it with you to the internal room where you are seeking shelter and turn it on. If you are in an apartment or office building that has a modern, central heating and cooling system, the systems filtration should provide a relatively safe level of protection from outside biological contaminants. Note: HEPA filters will not filter chemical agents


During

The first evidence of an attack may be when you notice symptoms of the disease caused by exposure to an agent. Follow these guidelines during a biological threat:

In the event of a biological attack, public health officials may not immediately be able to provide information on what you should do. It will take time to determine exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for official news and information including signs and symptoms of the disease, areas in danger, if medications or vaccinations are being distributed and where you should seek medical attention if you become ill.
If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious substance, quickly get away.
Protect yourself. Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric that can filter the air but still allow breathing. Examples include two to three layers of cotton such as a t-shirt, handkerchief or towel. Otherwise, several layers of tissue or paper towels may help.
There may be times when you would want to consider wearing a face mask to reduce spreading germs if you yourself are sick, or to avoid coming in contact with contagious germs if others around you are sick.
If you have been exposed to a biological agent, remove and bag your clothes and personal items. Follow official instructions for disposal of contaminated items.
Wash yourself with soap and water and put on clean clothes.
Contact authorities and seek medical assistance. You may be advised to stay away from others or even quarantined.
If a family member becomes sick, it is important to be suspicious.
Do not assume, however, that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap.
Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.
Consider if you are in the group or area authorities believe to be in danger.
If your symptoms match those described and you are in the group considered at risk, immediately seek emergency medical attention.
Follow instructions of doctors and other public health officials.
If the disease is contagious expect to receive medical evaluation and treatment. You may be advised to stay away from others or even deliberately quarantined.
For non-contagious diseases, expect to receive medical evaluation and treatment.
In a declared biological emergency or developing epidemic, there may be reason to stay away from crowds where others may be infected.

Covering your nose and mouth

Be prepared to improvise with what you have on hand to protect your nose, mouth, eyes and cuts in your skin. Anything that fits snugly over your nose and mouth, including any dense weave cotton material, can help filter contaminants in an emergency. It is very important that most of the air you breathe comes through the mask or cloth, not around it. Do whatever you can to make the best fit possible for children. There are also a variety of face masks readily available in hardware stores that are rated based on how small a particle they can filter in an industrial setting. Simple cloth face masks can filter some of the airborne junk or germs you might breathe into your body, but will probably not protect you from chemical gases.

Symptoms and Hygeine

If a family member develops any of the symptoms below, keep them separated from others if possible, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs and seek medical advice.

  • A temperature of more than 100 degrees
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale or flushed face
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Earache
  • Thick discharge from nose
  • Sore throat
  • Rash or infection of the skin
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of energy or decreases in activity

After

In some situations, such as the case of the anthrax letters sent in 2001, people may be alerted to potential exposure. If this is the case, pay close attention to all official warnings and instructions on how to proceed. The delivery of medical services for a biological event may be handled differently to respond to increased demand. The basic public health procedures and medical protocols for handling exposure to biological agents are the same as for any infectious disease. It is important for you to pay attention to official instructions via radio, television, and emergency alert systems.

Antibiotics

While antibiotics are often an appropriate treatment for the diseases associated with biological weapons, the specific drug must match the illness to be effective. One antibiotic, for example, may be appropriate for treating anthrax exposure, but is inappropriate for treating smallpox. All antibiotics can cause side effects including serious reactions. Plan to speak with your health care provider in advance about what makes sense for your family.

Jul 18 2023 06:12 PM
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Chemical

Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants. They can be released by bombs or sprayed from aircraft, boats and vehicles. They can be used as a liquid to create a hazard to people and the environment. Some chemical agents may be odorless and tasteless. They can have an immediate effect from a few seconds to a few minutes or a delayed effect 2 to 48 hours. While potentially lethal, chemical agents are difficult to deliver in lethal concentrations. Outdoors, the agents often dissipate rapidly. Chemical agents also are difficult to produce.

A chemical attack could come without warning. Signs of a chemical release include people having difficulty breathing; experiencing eye irritation; losing coordination; becoming nauseated; or having a burning sensation in the nose, throat and lungs. Also, the presence of many dead insects or birds may indicate a chemical agent release.


Before

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a chemical threat or hazard:

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Knowing Cornwall’s warning systems and disaster plans, including evacuation routes.
Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
Make plans for your pets.


During

What you should do in a chemical attack:

Quickly try to define the impacted area or where the chemical is coming from, if possible.
Take immediate action to get away.
If the chemical is inside a building where you are, get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area, if possible.
If you cannot get out of the building or find clean air without passing through the area where you see signs of a chemical attack, it may be better to move as far away as possible and shelter in place.
If you are instructed to remain in your home or office building, you should:

Close doors and windows and turn off all ventilation, including furnaces, air conditioners, vents, and fans.
Seek shelter in an internal room and take your disaster supplies kit.
Seal the room with duct tape and plastic sheeting.
Listen to your radio for instructions from authorities.
If you are caught in or near a contaminated area, you should:

Move away immediately in a direction upwind of the source.
Find shelter as quickly as possible
If you are outside, quickly decide what is the fastest way to find clean air. Consider if you can get out of the area or if you should go inside the closest building and shelter in place.


After

Decontamination is needed within minutes of exposure to minimize health consequences. Do not leave the safety of a shelter to go outdoors to help others until authorities announce it is safe to do so.

A person affected by a chemical agent requires immediate medical attention from a professional. If medical help is not immediately available, decontaminate yourself and assist in decontaminating others.

Decontamination guidelines are as follows:

Use extreme caution when helping others who have been exposed to chemical agents.
Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body. Contaminated clothing normally removed over the head should be cut off to avoid contact with the eyes, nose and mouth. Put contaminated clothing and items into a plastic bag and seal it. Decontaminate hands using soap and water. Remove eyeglasses or contact lenses. Put glasses in a pan of household bleach to decontaminate them and then rinse and dry.
Flush eyes with water.
Gently wash face and hair with soap and water before thoroughly rinsing with water.
Decontaminate other body areas likely to have been contaminated. Blot (do not swab or scrape) with a cloth soaked in soapy water and rinse with clear water.
Change into uncontaminated clothes. Clothing stored in drawers or closets is likely to be uncontaminated.
Proceed to a medical facility for screening and professional treatment.

Jul 18 2023 06:09 PM
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Cyber Attacks

In an increasingly growing interconnected world, we are often unaware that some of our actions can have adverse effects and pose risks not only to us, but our families, our friends, our communities, and even our country. Cyber attacks are a growing threat, especially to the United States. Consequences as you can imagine consist of intellectual property loss, financial loss, service disruptions, reputational damage, and costs of recovery to cyber attacks and incidents. Staying informed about dangers on a resource that touches our lives in many forms every day, to protect ourselves is the first step in making the Internet a safer place for everyone. While attaining 100% security will never happen, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, preventative measures can be taken by each of us to lessen the likeliness of an exploit or vulnerability.

Cybersecurity involves the protection the infrastructure by preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber incidents. Unlike physical threats or other threats that are easily identified; cyber events are difficult to identify and understand. Among these malicious threats that lurk about are viruses that can erase entire systems, intruders such as tojans breaking into systems, altering files and using your computer or device to attack others, or threats that steal confidential information. The magnitude of these cyber threats are limitless, some having more of an impact with differing severity than others that can have lasting effects on individuals, communities and the nation.


Before

You can take steps and preventative measures to lessen your chances of being vulnerable to cyber risks by following some best practices. The following are best practices you can do to protect yourself, your property, your family, your friends, and your country before a cyber incident occurs.

Stay Safe

  • If at all possible, connect to sites and the Internet using secure protocols such as https and over password protected networks and systems
  • Always exercise caution when proceeding with unfamiliar sites, URLs, links, attachments, emails or files. Many exploits result when the user opens a file or activates an element they are unfamiliar with and are unsure of the source which gives the adversary an opening.
  • Exercise extreme caution concerning requests for personally identifable information. In general most entities such banks and companies will never ask for your personal informtion over the Internet. There are exceptions: such as trusted sites that have URLs that begin with https:// and make use of SSL/TLS, such as the United States Social Security Administration website.
  • Always use up to date antivirus, antimalware, antispyware software.
  • Use hard to guess but meaningful to you and only you passwords. If at all possible use pass phrase over passwords. For example "MyPasswordIsSuperStrong" is an example of a passphrase and is stronger than "Password" a simple password.
  • Perform operating system and program updates regularly.
  • Make regular backups of your files and computer data.
  • Secure your network and Internet connection with a firewall.
  • Enable the strongest available security for your devices: computers, routers, wireless access points, portable devices, handheld devices.

Stay Informed

Cyber incidents are impossible to predict, as are their intent and nature. There may or may not be any warning. Some cyber incidents take a long time (weeks, months or years) to be discovered and identified. Familiarize yourself with the types of threats and protective measures you can take by:

  • Visiting the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) mailing list to receive the latest cybersecurity information directly to your inbox. Written for home and business users, alerts provide timely information about current security issues and vulnerabilities. You may Sign up to recieve news and information from US-CERT
  • Visiting the United States Department of Homeland Security website Cybersecurity resource. U.S. DHS Cybersecurity. You may also sign up for DHSs Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign and receive a monthly newsletter with cybersecurity current events and tips.

During

Immediate Actions

  • Check to make sure the software on all of your systems/devices is up to date.
  • Run a virus/malware scan to make sure your system is not infected or acting suspiciously.
  • If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the Internet and perform a full system restore.
    • Disconnecting the device from the Internet takes away its ability to communicate with a potential remote adversary or be used for malicious intents if the system/device has been compromised in this manner.

At Home

  • Disconnect your device (computer, gaming system, tablet, etc.) from the Internet. By removing the Internet connection, you prevent an attacker or virus from being able to access your computer and perform tasks such as locating personal data, manipulating or deleting files, or using your device to attack others.
  • If you have antivirus software installed on your computer, update the virus definitions if possible, and perform a manual scan of your entire system. Install all of the appropriate patches to fix known vulnerabilities.

At Work

  • If you have access to an IT department, contact them immediately. The sooner they can investigate and clean your computer, the less damage to your computer and other computers on the network.
  • If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.

At a Public Place (library, school, etc.)

  • Immediately inform a librarian, teacher, or manager in charge. If they have access to an IT department, contact them immediately.

Immediate Actions if your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is compromised:

PII is information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a single person. PII includes but is not limited to:

  • Full Name
  • Social security number
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Drivers License Number
  • Vehicle registration plate number
  • Credit card numbers
  • Physical appearance
  • Gender or race

If you believe your PII is compromised:

  • Immediately change all passwords; financial passwords first. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
  • If you believe the compromise was caused by malicious code, disconnect your computer from the Internet.
  • Restart your computer in safe mode and perform a full system restore.
  • Contact companies, including banks, where you have accounts as well as credit reporting companies.
  • Close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable or unauthorized charges to your accounts.

After

  • File a report with the local police so there is an official record of the incident.
  • Report online crime or fraud to your local United States Secret Service (USSS) Electronic Crimes Task Force or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • If your PII was compromised, consider other information that may be at risk. Depending what information was stolen, you may need to contact other agencies; for example, if someone has gained access to your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration. You should also contact the Department of Motor Vehicles if your drivers license or car registration has been stolen.
  • For further information on preventing and identifying threats, visit US-CERTs Alerts and Tips page.

Resources

Web Resources

Alert Disclaimer

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • DHS United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team
  • DHS Stop Think Connect Campaign
  • United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Department of Justice : Cybercrime
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • National Cyber Security Alliance
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tipline
  • Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce
  • NetSmartz
Free AntiVirus and Spyware Removal Software
System Cleaners and Utilities
Jul 18 2023 06:19 PM
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Diseases

You can prepare for a pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of a pandemic on you and your family. This section will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a pandemic. The influenza virus is the most common pandemic faced. Please stay informed about the flu, prevention, and promoting good overall health habits by visiting Flu.gov, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Influenza/Flu, and Center for Disease Control and Preventioon (CDC) Recent Outbreaks.


Before

Store a two week supply of water and food at minimum, 30 day supply is best. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters. Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins. Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home. Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

CDC FluView Interactive Illness and Viral Surveillance


During

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

What Is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering places such as movie theaters may close, and sports events and religious services may be cancelled.

What Is Quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease.

What Is Isolation?

Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.

Jul 18 2023 03:13 PM
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Earthquake

Did I just feel an earthquake? Check here USGS Earthquakes and report it to USGS.

Be Ready for More Earthquakes

  • Damaging earthquakes can occur in the future, so remember to: Drop, Cover, and Hold On
  • More earthquakes than usual (called aftershocks) will continue to occur near the mainshock.  The mainshock is the largest earthquake in a sequence (a series of earthquakes related to each other).
  • When there are more earthquakes, the chance of a large earthquake is greater which means that the cance of damage is greater.
  • No one can predict the exact time or place of any earthquake, including aftershocks.  Following a quake, the USGS provides aftershock forecasts with percentages of probability of more earthquakes occurring within a given time period in the affected area.
Apr 5 2024 12:35 PM
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Fires

Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States, with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually.  Home fires can be prevented!

To protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire. Fire spreads quickly; there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.


Before

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly.

Twice each year, practice your home fire escape plan.  Some tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out. A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Windows and doors with security bars must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency. Make sure everyone in the family understands and practices how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

During

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit, heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast. You may have only seconds to escape safely.
  • If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use your second way out.
  • Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you cannot get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you cannot get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll, stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

After

Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process.  When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.  Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records. 
  • If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.

For more information on what you should do after a home fire, including valuing your property, replacing documents, and salvage hints, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.


Prevention

Most home fires occur in the kitchen while cooking and are the leading cause of injuries from fire. Common causes of fires at night are carelessly discarded cigarettes, sparks from fireplaces without spark screens or glass doors, and heating appliances left too close to furniture or other combustibles. These fires can be particularly dangerous because they may smolder for a long period before being discovered by sleeping residents.

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a kid-free zone of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. Put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Check for cigarette butts. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Do not put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert, do not smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Check with your local fire department on the legality of kerosene heater use in your community.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of childrens reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.

More Prevention Tips

  • Avoid using lighted candles.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

Facts

Every day Americans experience the horror of fire but most people do not understand fire.

Fire is FAST!

There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you will not have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

Fire is HOT!

Heat is more threatening than flames. A fires heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

Fire is DARK!

Fire is not bright, it is pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you have lived in for years.

Fire is DEADLY!

Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare our families and ourselves.


Safety Tips

Smoke Alarms

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

  • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
  • Test batteries monthly.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries)
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Always follow the manufacturers installation instructions when installing smoke alarms.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking – it can be a deadly mistake. Open a window or door and press the hush button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.
  • Caregivers are encouraged to check the smoke alarms of those who are unable to do it themselves.
  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available.

Additional Safety Tips and Considerations

 

  • Sleep with your door closed.
  • Only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers should consider using them when appropriate.  Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area and what kind to buy for your home.
  • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
  • Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.

Escaping Tips

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash such as old newspapers and magazines accumulate.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You will be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire departments non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.
Jul 18 2023 05:45 PM
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Floods

Highland Falls Flooding
Flooded road in Highland Falls.
Photo courtesy: Joe DeLorenzo, Orange County :: ARES, RACES, SKYWARN

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater and cause flooding in surrounding areas. It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from populated areas.

Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, or near water. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.


Before

Flooded road
Flooding on the corner of Riley Rd and Moores Hill Rd, New Windsor.
Photo courtesy: Paul Polischuk, Orange County :: ARES, RACES, SKYWARN.

Cornwall is subject to flooding hazards. Its based on a number of factors including rainfall, topography, flood control measures, river flow and tidal surge data, and changes due to new construction and development.

Note standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium. For information pertaining to flood insurance, flood maps and other flooding risks visit FloodSmart.gov.

To prepare for a flood, you should:

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit, see our Build A Kit information pertaining to Flooding under the Prepare section of our site.
  • Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home. Or take steps to establish water barriers.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home.
  • Consider installing "check valves" to sewage and sanitation plumbing to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • If possible and reasonable, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.

During

Flooded road
Flooding on Riley and Moores Hill Rd looking towards route 207 Eastbound, New Windsor.
Photo courtesy: Paul Polischuk, Orange County :: ARES, RACES, SKYWARN.

If a flood is imminent.

Listen to the radio, television or emergency officials for information.
Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Be aware of stream, drainage channels, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moivng or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.

After

Flooded road
Flooding on the corner of Riley and Moores Hill Rd looking towards rte. 207 Eastbound, New Windsor.
Photo courtesy: Paul Polischuk, Orange County :: ARES, RACES, SKYWARN.

Many dangers still exist, following the aftermath of a flood. Important things to keep in mind:

  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
  • Avoid moving water.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, emergency management, or a relief organization.
  • Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. The best way you can help them is by staying off the roads and out of the way. You may be able to help or volunteer through a local program or relief organization
  • Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. For your safety find a safer, clear route if possible.
  • If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded. Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide items that may cause injury, and its also slippery.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations and general structure.

Staying Healthy
A flood can cause physical hazards and emotional stress. You need to look after yourself and your family as you focus on cleanup and repair.

Keep in mind that after a flood the water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. It is best to service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are serious health hazards. Listen for news reports to learn whether the communitys water supply is safe to drink and if there are boil water advisories. Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals. Please remember to rest often and eat well. Keep a manageable schedule to reduce strain and stress. Make a list and do jobs one at a time. This is effectively managing your resources and energy by taking baby steps. Discuss your concerns with others and seek help.

Cleaning Up and Repairing Your Home:

  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
  • You can ask for a guide on how to repair your flooded home, available from the Cornwall emergency manager. It will include tips and guidance on: how to enter your home safely, how to protect your home and belongings from further damage, how to record damage to support insurance claims and requests for assistance, how to check for gas or water leaks and how to have service restored, how to clean up appliances, furniture, floors and other belongings. Additionally The Red Cross can provide you with a cleanup kit: mop, broom, bucket, and cleaning supplies.
  • Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
  • If you decide to hire cleanup or repair contractors, check references and be sure they are qualified to do the job. Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home. Often times these are scams.

After

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Hurricanes pack a triple punch: high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris. They can cause storm surges to coastal areas, as well as create heavy rainfall which in turn causes flooding hundreds of miles inland.

When hurricanes weaken into tropical storms, they generate rainfall and flooding that can be especially damaging since the rain collects in one place.

Spring Thaw

During the spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. Each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water and once the snow melts, it can result in the overflow of streams, rivers, and lakes. Add spring storms to that and the result is often serious spring flooding.

Heavy Rains

Several areas of the country are at heightened risk for flooding due to heavy rains. The Northeast is at high risk due to heavy rains produced from Nor easters. This excessive amount of rainfall can happen throughout the year, putting property at risk.

Flash Floods

Flash floods are the #1 weather related killer in the U.S. since they can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges. A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low lying areas in less than six hours, which is caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. Flash floods can also occur from the collapse of a man made structure or ice dam.

New Development

Construction and development can change the natural drainage and create brand new flood risks. That is because new buildings, parking lots, and roads mean less land to absorb excess precipitation from heavy rains, hurricanes, and tropical storms.


Terminology

Flood Watch

Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Flash Flood Watch

Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Flood Warning

Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.

Jul 18 2023 04:02 PM
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Hazardous Materials

CSX Engine
CSX Engine passing through Cornwall-on-Hudson riverfront. Photo courtesy: Hans C. Olsen

Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production and simplify household chores. But chemicals also can be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. Cornwall is high risk for a hazardous materials incident due to the CSX rail line running through the Village and the New York State Thruway running through the Town. A release of chemicals would be hazardous to you, your friends, your family and the environment in the event of a hazardous materials incident.

Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long lasting health effects, damage to buildings, homes and other property and the enviroment. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. High dangers are also associated with railroads and the chemicals transported by CSX and the tractor trailers that carry chemicals and freight on the New York State Thruway.

Chemical manufacturers are one source of hazardous materials, but there are many others, including service stations, hospitals and hazardous materials waste sites.

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents.


Before

The Cornwall Office of Emergency Management is responsible for collecting information about hazardous materials in the community and making this information available to the public upon request. We are also are tasked with developing an emergency plan to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in the community. Ways the public will be notified and actions the public must take in the event of a release are part of the plan.

You may contact us to find out more about chemical hazards and what needs to be done to minimize the risk to individuals and the community from these materials.

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a hazardous materials incident:

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Knowing Cornwall’s warning systems and disaster plans, including evacuation routes.
Notify caregivers and babysitters about your plan.
Make plans for your pets.


During

Car vs CSX Train Shore Road Access
Car vs CSX train at Shore Road, Cornwall-on-Hudson. Photo courtesy: SKE #2

Listen to local radio or television stations for detailed information and instructions. Follow the instructions carefully. You should stay away from the area to minimize the risk of contamination. Remember that some toxic chemicals are odorless.

If you are asked to evacuate

Do so immediately. Stay tuned to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and procedures. Follow the routes recommended by the authorities, shortcuts may not be safe. Leave at once. If you have time, minimize contamination in the house by closing all windows, shutting all vents, and turning off attic fans. Take pre-assembled disaster supplies. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance: infants, elderly people and people with access and functional needs.

If you are outside

Stay upstream, uphill, and upwind! In general, try to go at least one half mile from the danger area. Move away from the accident scene and help keep others away. Do not walk into or touch any spilled liquids, airborne mists, or condensed solid chemical deposits. Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area. Stay away from accident victims until the hazardous material has been identified.

If you are in a motor vehicle

Stop and seek shelter in a permanent building. If you must remain in your car, keep car windows and vents closed and shut off the air conditioner and heater.

If you are requested to stay indoors

Bring pets inside. Close and lock all exterior doors and windows. Close vents, fireplace dampers, and as many interior doors as possible. Turn off air conditioners and ventilation systems. In large buildings, set ventilation systems to 100 percent recirculation so that no outside air is drawn into the building. If this is not possible, ventilation systems should be turned off. Go into the pre selected shelter room. This room should be above ground and have the fewest openings to the outside. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels or plastic sheeting and duct tape. Seal gaps around window and air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap. Use material to fill cracks and holes in the room, such as those around pipes. If gas or vapors could have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or a towel. Avoid eating or drinking any food or water that may be contaminated.

Shelter suggestions for sealed rooms

Ten square feet of floor space per person will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide build up for up to five hours, assuming a normal breathing rate while resting. However, local officials are unlikely to recommend the public shelter in a sealed room for more than 2 to 3 hours because the effectiveness of such sheltering diminishes with time as the contaminated outside air gradually seeps into the shelter. At this point, evacuation from the area is the better protective action to take. Also you should ventilate the shelter when the emergency has passed to avoid breathing contaminated air still inside the shelter.


After

The following are guidelines for the period following a hazardous materials incident:

Go to a designated public shelter if you have been told to evacuate or you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12518).
Act quickly if you have come in to contact with or have been exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Follow decontamination instructions from local authorities. You may be advised to take a thorough shower or you may be advised to stay away from water and follow another procedure.
Seek medical treatment for unusual symptoms as soon as possible.
Place exposed clothing and shoes in tightly sealed containers. Do not allow them to contact other materials. Call local authorities to find out about proper disposal.
Advise everyone who comes in to contact with you that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance.
Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.
Help a neighbor who may require special assistance: infants, elderly people and people with access and functional needs. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Open windows and vents and turn on fans to provide ventilation.
Find out from local authorities how to clean up your land and property.
Report any lingering vapors or other hazards to the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management.

Jul 18 2023 06:01 PM
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Hurricanes

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earths surface.

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. Slow moving hurricanes traveling into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall.


Before

  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your homes windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8 inch exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • Consider building a safe room.

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.


During

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.

  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors, secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm, winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
  • Avoid elevators.

After

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12520).
  • For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering, the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it is not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

Terminology

Moodna Creek at Old Forge Hill
Moodna Creek at Old Forge Hill.
Photo credit: Jim Lennon

Tropical Cyclone: A warm-core non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters, with organized deep convection and a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. Once formed, a tropical cyclone is maintained by the extraction of heat energy from the ocean at high temperature and heat export at the low temperatures of the upper troposphere.

Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 38 mph (33 knot) or less.

Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) ranges from 39 mph (34 knots) to 73 mph (63 knots).

Hurricane: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 74 mph (64 knots) or more.

Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.  Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline.

Storm Tide: The actual level of sea water resulting from the astronomic tide combined with the storm surge.

Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.

Short Term Watches and Warnings: These watches/warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.

 

Storm Surges

The greatest potential for loss of life related to a hurricane is from the storm surge!

Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level to heights impacting roads, homes and other critical infrastructure. In addition, wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in coastal areas, particularly when the storm tide coincides with the normal high tides. Because much of the United States densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level, the danger from storm tides is tremendous.

The storm surge combined with wave action can cause extensive damage, severely erode beaches and coastal highways. With major storms like Katrina, Camille and Hugo, complete devastation of coastal communities occurred. Many buildings withstand hurricane force winds until their foundations, undermined by erosion, are weakened and fail.

 

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies hurricanes into five categories based on their sustained wind speed at the indicated time.  The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale provides information on wind impacts only.  The scale does not address the potential for other hurricane-related impacts, such as storm surge, rainfall-induced floods, and tornadoes.

Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and property.  Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventive measures.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale Summary

Scale Number (Category)

Sustained Winds (MPH)

Damage

1

74-95

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage

  • Minor damage to exterior of homes
  • Toppled tree branches, uprooting of smaller trees
  • Extensive damage to power lines, power outages

2

96-110

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

  • Major damage to exterior of homes
  • Uprooting of small trees and many roads blocked
  • Guaranteed power outages for long periods of time – days to weeks

3

111-129

Devastating damage will occur

  • Extensive damage to exterior of homes
  • Many trees uprooted and many roads blocked
  • Extremely limited availability of water and electricity

4

130-156

Catastrophic damage will occur

  • Loss of roof structure and/or some exterior walls
  • Most trees uprooted and most power lines down
  • Isolated residential due to debris pile up
  • Power outages lasting for weeks to months

5

157 or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur

  • A high percentage of homes will be destroyed
  • Fallen trees and power lines isolate residential areas
  • Power outages lasting for weeks to months
  • Most areas will be uninhabitable

Resources

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommend using social media tools as a way to promote National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 25th to May 31st, as well as throughout hurricane season.

Here are some tips to promote hurricane preparedness:

Jul 18 2023 05:38 PM
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Power Service Disruptions

The largest Blackout in U.S. history occurred on August 14, 2003, leaving roughly 50 million people without power.  People couldn’t pump gas, access ATM machines, cell phone service was sporadic at best, and chaos was rampant as the public wasn’t well informed about the magnitude of the Blackout of 03’.  The disruption of power is a technological hazard we all must expect, so being prepared is very important!

 

Central Hudson provides Electric for the Greater Cornwall Community.  Several services are available for customers including real time outage reporting, restoration information, mobile device text message alerts and SmartPhone tools.  Visit Central Hudson to learn more.


Before

To prepare for a blackout the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management recommends the following:

To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.


Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer if there is room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage, by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.


Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.


Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.


Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open. 

For those with disabilities and other needs:

Call your power company before rolling blackouts occur if you use a battery operated wheelchair, life support system or other power dependent equipment. Many utility companies keep a list and map of the locations of power dependent customers in case of an emergency. Ask them what alternatives are available in your area. Contact the customer service department of your local utility company(ies) to learn if this service is available in your community.


Have an extra battery if you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter. A car battery also can be used with a wheelchair but will not last as long as a wheelchair deep cycle battery. If available, have a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup.


Have a talking or Braille clock or large-print timepiece with extra batteries if you are blind or have a visual disability.


Consider getting a small portable battery operated television set if you are deaf or have a hearing loss. Emergency broadcasts may give information in American Sign Language (ASL) or open captioning.


During

Use only flashlights for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.

Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics in use when the power went out. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can damage computers as well as motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.

Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.

Do not connect a generator to a home electrical system. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator.

Listen to local radio and to a battery or generator powered television for updated information.

Leave on one light so that you will know when your power returns.

Use a standard telephone handset, cellular phone, radio or pager if your phone requires electricity to work, as do cordless phones and answering machines. Use the phone for emergencies only. Listen to a portable radio for the latest information.

Do not call 9-1-1 for information! Call only to report a life threatening emergency. Use the phone for life threatening emergencies only.

Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or cooling shelter that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.

Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.

Provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pets.

Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion.

Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not work during a power outage.

Using a Generator

Get advice from a licensed professional, such as an electrician if you are considering obtaining a generator. Make sure the generator is listed with Underwriters Laboratories or a similar organization. Some municipalities, Air Quality Districts, or states have air quality permit requirements. A licensed electrician will be able to give you more information on these matters.

Plan to always keep the generator outdoors never operate it inside, including in the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to your home wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator.


After

Throw out unsafe food:

Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.


Energy Conservation

To conserve power and help to avoid a blackout, follow these power industry recommendations:

Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in winter and at 78 degrees or higher in summer. (A 75-degree setting uses 18 percent more electricity and a 72-degree setting uses 39 percent more electricity. A 78 degree setting allows for sufficient cooling while still conserving electric power.) Consider installing a programmable thermostat so that you can have your furnace or air conditioning run only when you are at home. Most power is consumed by heating and cooling, so adjusting the temperature on your thermostat is the biggest energy conservation measure you can take.
Use an air conditioner only when you are home. If you want to cool down a room before you arrive home, set a timer to have it switch on no more than one half hour before you arrive home.
Only use appliances with heavy electrical loads (dishwashers, washers, dryers) early in the morning or late at night.
Do not set the thermostat at a colder than normal setting when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in unnecessary energy expenditure and expense.
Open draperies and shades on south facing windows during the day in the winter to allow warm sunlight to enter your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill. Keep window coverings closed during the day in summer.
Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.
Clean warm air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
Turn off lights, appliances and computers when not in use. Avoid using a screen saver on your computer monitor. Simply turn off the monitor when you will not be using the computer for a while. Set computers, monitors, printers, and copiers to their energy saving feature and turn them off in the evening. It is no longer true that computer equipment is damaged by turning it off and on.
Close windows when the heating or cooling system is on.
Caulk windows and doors to keep air from leaking, and replace old windows with new, energy-efficient windows.
Purchase energy efficient appliances and lights.  Look for the ENERGY STAR® labels. ENERGY STAR® is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to help consumers identify energy efficient appliances and products.
Minimize leaking energy. Many TVs, VCRs, chargers, computer peripherals and other appliances use electricity even when switched off. These standby losses can add up. If possible, unplug electronic devices and chargers that have a block shaped transformer on the plug when not in use.
Plug and seal the chimney flue if you never use your fireplace.
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a 48 inch window open during the winter it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
Wrap the water heater with an insulation jacket, available at most building supplies retailers.
Wash only full loads of clothes and clean the dryer lint trap after each use. Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer energy use by 75 percent.
Wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and use the lite cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights.
Use one large light bulb rather than several smaller ones.

Jul 18 2023 06:07 PM
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Severe Heat

Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.

Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the urban heat island effect.

A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for humans who do not take the proper precautions.

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme heat hazard:

Heat Wave - Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.

Heat Index - A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.

Heat Cramps - Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat Exhaustion - Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.

Heat Stroke - A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

Sun Stroke - Another term for heat stroke.

Excessive Heat Watch - Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.

Excessive Heat Warning - Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).

Heat Advisory - Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).


Before Extreme Heat Emergencies

To prepare for extreme heat, you should:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

During

What you should do if the weather is extremely hot:

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. 

Cooling Centers

During periods of excessive heat, it is best to stay inside with air conditioning.  If you do not have air-conditioning and need to seek a cooler area of refuge, we recommend the following:

Visit the Cornwall Public Library, Patronize Local Businesses, go to a Shopping Mall, or visit with friends or relatives who have air conditioning.

The designated Cornwall Community Cooling Center (if not affected by Power Outage) is Munger Cottage at Riverlight Park (behind Cornwall Public Library). 

For Public Information on Cooling Centers - Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm call 845-534-3760 or visit our Facebook Page Cornwall, NY Office of Emergency Management.  For after hours or Emergency Assistance call 845-534-8100 or Dial 9-1-1.

Be sure to bring any necessary items with you to the Cooling Center including phone charger, water, food, snacks, medications, toiletries, blanket, etc. 

Jul 18 2023 05:25 PM
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Winter Weather

Power Line Cause Fire Heavy Snow
Heavy Snow Affects Power Line and Causes Fire, Cornwall, NY.
Photo courtesy: Kurt W. Hahn :: Nov. 26, 2014

The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the "Deceptive Killers" because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.


Before

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of winter weather:

Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency. Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.


It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.


You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

 

Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.


Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.


During

Stay indoors during the storm.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the persons temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help immediately.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends, if you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; do not travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.


After

Tree Down Heavy Snow Cornwall NY
Tree Down Blocking Road Due To Heavy Snow Cornwall, NY. Photo courtesy: Kurt W. Hahn :: Nov. 27, 2014

If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER 12518)
Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Learn From Every Storm

Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.

Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?
Take a few minutes to improve your family plan and supplies before the next winter storm hits.
Talk to your neighbors and colleagues about their experiences and share tips with each other


Winterize

Winterizing your vehicle


Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels, ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system, should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes, check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system, check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters, replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster, ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights, check for serviceability.
  • Oil, check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat, ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment, repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires, Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.


Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:

  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight
  • battery powered radio
  • extra batteries
  • water
  • snack food
  • matches
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • first aid kit with pocket knife
  • necessary medications
  • blanket(s)
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt and sand
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares
  • fluorescent distress flag

Winterizing your home

  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

FAQs & Tips

Carbon Monoxide


Caution: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal and not; burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
  • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
  • Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Stay or Go


Stay

  • If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or rescue is likely
  • If a safe location is neither nearby or visible
  • If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside
  • If you do not have the ability to call for help

Go

  • If the distance to call for help is accessible.
  • If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.
  • If you have appropriate clothing.
  • Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your Cornwall NY Office of Emergency Management to determine which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

Dress for the weather

  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat. A hat will prevent loss of body heat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Stranded in your vehicle

  • Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs, the use of lights, heat, and radio, with supply.
  • Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
  • If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
  • Leave the car and proceed on foot, if necessary, once the blizzard passes.

Terminology

Know the terms used to describe changing winter weather conditions and what actions to take. These terms can be used to determine the timeline and severity of an approaching storm. (Advisory / Watch / Warning). The NWS also issues advisories and warnings for other winter weather, including blizzards, freezes, wind chill, lake effect snow, and dense fog. Be alert to weather reports and tune in for specific guidance when these conditions develop.

Freezing Rain

Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

SleetRain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

Wind Chill

Windchill is the temperature it feels like when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill.

Winter Weather Advisory

Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.

Winter Storm Watch

A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect the area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.

Winter Storm Warning

A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur.

Blizzard Warning

Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

Frost/Freeze Warning

Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Jul 18 2023 05:55 PM
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Planning and Response

Numerous hazards impact the Cornwall community, learn about the unique & proactive actions you can take before, during and after incidents and events. As you prepare, consider plans & supply needs for yourself & your family. Consider how to assist others in need during emergencies. From dietary & medical needs, to important documents & pets, know the impacts, how you can prepare, how to plan and be informed.

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Planning and Response

Caring for Animals

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what is best for you is typically what is best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back up emergency plan in case you cannot care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.


Protection

  • Bring your pets inside immediately.
  • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
  • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

Planning Needs

  • Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter number in your list of emergency numbers. They might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
  • Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they are not available later. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, consider packing a pet survival kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
  • Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pets collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
  • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he cannot escape.

Shelter

  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pets medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your pet survival kit along with a photo of your pet.
  • Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside, NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

After

  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
Jul 18 2023 03:06 PM
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Disabilities

If you have a disability or an access and functional need, you may need to take additional steps to prepare for emergencies.

  1. Stock a basic disaster supply kit.
  2. Inventory what you use every day to live independently. Identify the essential things that you will need to be able to survive for 3 to 5 days or longer, if people cannot get to you.
  3. Stock these custom essentials in your kit. For example, your kit may contain items such as durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, a TTY, manual wheelchair, and supplies for a service animal.

One of the biggest challenges to your safety and access to information is loss of electrical power. You should plan alternate ways to charge your communication and assistive technology devices before disaster strikes.


Deaf or Hearing Loss

  • Extra batteries and a spare charger for hearing aids and/or personal assistive listening device. Keep records of where you got your hearing aids and exact types of batteries.
  • Consider how you are going to receive emergency information if you are unable to use a TV, radio or computer.
  • Use a NOAA Weather Radio for Deaf and Hard of Hearing that has an adaptive weather alert system.
  • Many new cell phones and smart phones have an alerting capability that includes specific sounds and vibrations that can be set to signal users of an emergency.
  • Keep a TTY as part of your emergency supply kit.
  • Keep a pen and paper in case you have to communicate with someone who does not understand American Sign Language.
  • Write an explanation of your needs in advance. If you need an assistive device or an interpreter, write it down. For example: I use American Sign Language, I have a hearing loss and I need an interpreter, I need my (name of device).

Blind or Vision Loss

  • Write down on a sheet of paper what your needs are. If you need an assistive device or service animal, include it on the paper. For example: I am blind and I need my (name of device). Or I am deaf-blind and I use (name of device) to communicate.
  • Keep Braille communication cards, if used.
  • Mark emergency supplies with Braille labels.  Keep a list of your emergency supplies on a portable flash drive or make an audio file that is kept in a safe place where you can access it.
  • Keep a Braille TTY as part of your emergency supply kit.
  • Have an extra mobility cane, if used.

Speech Disability

  • If you have a speech disability, consider carrying alaminated personal communication board, if you might need assistance being understood. This could be one or several 3x5 cards containing written messages.

Mobility Disability

  • If you use a motorized wheelchair, if possible, have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
  • Purchase an extra battery for a motorized wheelchair or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. If you are unable to purchase an extra battery, find out what agencies, organizations, or local charitable groups can help you with the purchase.
  • Consider keeping a patch kit or can of sealant for flat tires and/or extra inner tube if wheelchair or scooter is not puncture proof. (from Nusura/CalEMA)
  • Extra mobility cane or walker, if you use one.

Special Medications

  • If possible, stock extra over the counter and prescription medicine, oxygen, insulin, catheters, or other medical supplies you use.
  • Keep medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency.
  • Make copies of medical prescriptions, doctors orders and the style and serial numbers of the support devices you use.

Service Animals

  • Make plans in advance for your service animal in the event that you stay at home or you evacuate.
  • Stock food, water, and medications. Also have identification, licenses, and a favorite toy for your service animal.
  • If you go to a public shelter, by law all service animals (but no other animals) are allowed inside.
  • Plan for someone else to take care of your service animal if you are not able to following a disaster.

Special Planning

Plan to stay independent during times when services may be unavailable during an emergency.

Create a Support Network

  • Plan how you will contact your family members by calling, or emailing, or texting agreed upon friends or relatives if you are unable to contact each other directly.
  • Let people in your support network know of your emergency plans. Tell them where you keep your emergency supplies. They may be able to assist you in ensuring that your assistive devices will go with you if you have to evacuate your home.
  • If you use oxygen or other medical equipment, show friends how to use these devices so they can move you or help you evacuate. Practice your plan with your personal support network.
  • Discuss assistance you may need with your employer in the event of an emergency.
  • Create a plan and share it with neighbors, friends, co-workers and relatives so they know what you need and how to contact you if the power goes out.
  • Discuss your specific needs and/or the needs of a family member and find out what assistance or services are available. Some state emergency management offices or agencies keep a voluntary registry of people with disabilities.

Collect Important Information and Phone Numbers

  • Keep a list of contacts, including family, and friends and list the best way to reach them in an emergency.
  • Keep a list of the local non-profit or community-based organizations that could provide assistance.
  • Maintain a list of phone numbers for your doctors, pharmacy, and the medical facilities you use.
  • Make copies of medical prescriptions and doctors orders for assistive devices that you use.  List where you got the devices from and see if your local pharmacy is willing to provide a list of your prescription medicine and devices for you.
  • Make copies of medical insurance cards, Medicare or Medicaid cards, physicians contact information, a list of your allergies, and your health history.
  • Even if you do not use a computer, put important information onto a flash drive for easy transport in the event of an evacuation.
  • If you own a medical alert tag or bracelet, wear it.
  • Keep track of which TV stations broadcast news that is captioned or signed
  • When traveling or in an unfamiliar area, know what type of alert and warning services are used and where to find them (station, network, etc.)
  • If you receive dialysis or other life sustaining medical treatment, identify the location and availability of more than one facility and work with your provider to develop your personal emergency plan.

Make Backup Plans to Receive Medical Treatment

  • If you work with a medical provider or organization to receive life sustaining medical treatment such as dialysis, oxygen, or cancer treatment, work with the provider to identify alternative locations where you could continue to receive treatment.

Make Backup Plans to Receive In-Home Care

  • If you receive in-home assistance or personal assistance services, work with your agency and develop a backup plan for continued care.
  • Ask how you can continue to receive services from providers such as a Center for Independent Living, Meals-on-Wheels, or medical and life alert services.

Stay Mobile with Accessible Transportation

  • Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services such as Older Adults Transportation Service (OATS) to identify your local or private accessible service.

Plan for Possible Evacuation

  • During an emergency, be ready to explain to first responders and emergency officials that you need to evacuate and choose to go to a shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver, personal assistant, and your assistive technology devices.

Note that people should only be referred to a medical shelter when they have acute health care needs and would typically be admitted to a hospital.

Plan for Power Outages Before They Happen

  • Before disaster strikes, you may register with your power company. They may alert you when power will be restored in an unplanned outage and before a planned outage.
  • In the event that you cannot be without power, plan for how you will have power backup. If possible, have backup battery, generator or alternate electrical resources.
  • Make sure that devices that will maintain power to your equipment during electric outages are charged. Watch this video about severe weather (with ASL) to learn more.
  • Purchase extra batteries for motorized wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. Keep the batteries charged at all times. Consider whether you could charge your wheelchair from your car.
  • Backup chargers for a cell phone could include a hand-crank USB cell phone emergency charger, a solar charger, or a battery pack. Some weather radios have a built in hand crank charger.
  • Backup chargers for a laptop or tablet could include a 12V USB adapter that plugs into a car, an inverter, or a battery jump pack with an USB port.
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing can get important information on a cell phone or pager.  Sign up for emergency emails and text messages on your cell phone.
  • Plan how you are going to receive emergency information if you are unable to use a TV, radio or computer.  This may include having an adaptive weather alert system to alert you in the event of severe weather.
  • Plan for medications that require refrigeration.
  • Having flashlights available will also facilitate lip-reading or signing in the dark.
Jul 18 2023 05:08 PM
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Family Planning

Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.

Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities.

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Read more about school and workplace plans.

Once you have collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.


Family Communications

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.

Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.

Check with your children day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.

Family Communication Tips
Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out of state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long distance phone call than to call across town, so an out of town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as ICE (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you have listed them as emergency contacts.

Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.


Escape Routes

Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child room.

If your home is taller than ground level, plan to use an escape ladder from upper floors. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them.


Getting Tech Ready

According to The American Red Cross, the internet - including online news sites and social media platforms - is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.

Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.

FEMA Text Messages

Use your cell phone’s text messaging capability to receive text message updates from FEMA (standard message and data rates apply).

Here are basic commands to get started:

  • To signup to receive monthly preparedness tips: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA)
  • To unsubscribe (at any time): text STOP to 43362 (4FEMA)

Utility Shut Off

How To Shut Off Natural Gas

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

Because there are different gas shut-off procedures for different gas meter configurations, it is important to contact your local gas company for any guidance on preparations and response regarding gas appliances and gas service to your home.

When you learn the proper shut-off procedure for your meter, share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedures.

If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbors home.

Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

Central Hudson Natural Gas Safety

How To Shut Off Water Supply

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve. 

Before an emergency happens, locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house and label this valve with a tag for easy identification. Make sure all household members know where it is located.

Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open or it may only partially close. If so, replace it.

Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve. (This is not the street valve in the cement box at the curb – the street valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool.)

How To Shut Off Electricity

Electrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.


Financial Preparedness

Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be financially ready. Starting early and having a plan to pay your bills and access your important records and accounts help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.

Pre-disaster financial planning is essential for individuals and families to complete because disasters leave many Americans without access to finances or with expensive damages. Thousands of Americans just like you – your neighbors and friends – have a plan and keep their important documents in their home disaster kit.

Being financially prepared means more than planning for disasters. Help ensure a strong financial future for you and your family by taking simple steps now to make your money work for you in the long run. Order a free packet of publications from USA.gov and you will get tips on retirement benefits, smart saving for college, avoiding financial setbacks and more. You will also get a copy of the Consumer Action Handbook, full of tips on how to avoid scams and fraud to protect your money and financial future. Order your free packet of publications today. Share these free resources with your family and friends, so you can all be financially prepared this month.

Safeguarding your finances and important records is easy if you start now. These steps can help you get started:

  1. Identify your important documents and place them in a safe space: You can use the Safeguarding Your Valuables activity and Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to help get you started.
  2. Download phone applications that can help during emergencies: Use the FEMA phone application to access to disaster preparedness, response and recovery resources including disaster assistance.
  3. Enroll in Go Direct to minimize disruptions to receiving any federal benefits you may receive.
  4. Plan ahead of time to recover: Our partners at USDA have created great resources to help get you started including Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit and the Disaster Recovery Log.

FEMA has worked with our federal partners from the Financial Literacy Education Commission and whole community partners to compile resources that can help you get involved in strengthen your home, your job and your communities ability to be financially prepared. We encourage you to use the tools below and start early on being financially prepared.


Safety Skills

Learn how to administer CPR and First Aid

Take a first aid and CPR class. Local American Red Cross chapters can provide information about this type of training. Official certification by the American Red Cross provides, under the good Samaritan law, protection for those giving first aid.

Get more information about the supplies in a first aid kit.

Learn how to use Fire Extinguisher

Make sure you have one or more up-to-date fire extinguisher and be sure everyone knows where they are kept and how to use them. You should have, at a minimum, an ABC type.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate. Contact your local fire department for information on training in your area. Get more information about preparedness for a fire emergency.

Jul 19 2023 07:57 AM
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Infants and Young Children

Remember the unique needs of your family members when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.

For Baby:

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diaper rash ointment

Try to make emergency planning fun for young children. Gather your family members together for a quick family meeting, maybe over a pizza or before watching your favorite movie.

Jul 18 2023 04:14 PM
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Locations

While there are warnings for many types of potential disasters, many emergencies and disasters occur without any warning. Since you cannot predict where you will be for disasters, it is important to have plans and supplies for the locations you and your household go to regularly.  Planning ahead will ensure that you and your household will know what to do and have the supplies you need to be safe wherever you are.

Individuals and households should consider the locations they frequent; find out what plans are available for these locations, and customize their personal and household plans based on what household members would do if an emergency occurred while they were at that location.  Examples of locations to consider and plan for include:

  • Home
  • Workplace
  • Vehicles: Have a plan for traveling between work and home, and other commonly visited locations, in case of an emergency.
  • Regular methods of transportation such as trains, urban commuter transit
  • School
  • Places of Worship
  • Entertainment locations such as theatres
  • Shopping areas such as malls and retail centers
  • Tourist and travel locations such as hotels

Developing plans for different locations will require getting key information about the organization or building managers plans for the locations. In some cases if plans are not available, this may involve working with the building manager or other members of the organization to develop or expand plans. Information that should be considered includes:

  • How you and other occupants will get local alert or warnings while you are there
  • Building location alarm or alert systems
  • Building occupant evacuation plans including alternate exits
  • Building or organization plans for sheltering occupants in an emergency
  • Key Supplies you/household members and others would need for temporary sheltering

Planning should also consider how the type of structure or the environments around the structure or location may impact alerts and warnings, shelter and evacuation, and the need for supplies. Examples of considerations for the type of structure or the environment around the location include:

  • Single story vs multi story or high rise buildings have different types of alarm systems, shelter and evacuation considerations.
  • Urban and rural locations may have different local assumptions and plans for evacuation if large areas are impacted.
  • Buildings like schools, sports arenas, and malls may have different plans for evacuation and shelter depending on the specific building structure and likely safe methods for evacuation or safe locations for shelter for different types of emergencies e.g. tornadoes
  • Outdoor locations likes sports fields or golf courses need specific plans for rapid short-term shelter e.g. for thunderstorms and lightening or tornadoes
  • Geography may be critical for some hazards, e.g. if the area is low and vulnerable to flash flooding
  • Mobile homes, modular structures and other buildings not attached to permanent foundations require planning for evacuation and alternate shelter locations

School and Workplace

Like individuals and families, schools, daycare providers, workplaces, neighborhoods and apartment buildings should all have site specific emergency plans.

Ask about plans at the places where your family spends the most time: work, school and other places you frequent. If none exist, consider volunteering to help develop one. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead, and communicate with others in advance.


Neighborhoods

  • Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency.
  • Find out if anyone has specialized equipment like a power generator, or expertise such as medical knowledge, that might help in a crisis.
  • Decide who will check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
  • Make back-up plans for children in case you cannot get home in an emergency.
  • Sharing plans and communicating in advance is a good strategy.

Vehicles

  • If there is an explosion or other factor that makes it difficult to control the vehicle, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
  • If the emergency could impact the physical stability of the roadway, avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions as they become available.
Feb 19 2024 06:39 PM
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Seniors

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each persons abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.

There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.

Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer.

Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter.


Federal Benefits

Seniors who receive federal benefit should consider receiving payments electronically. Keep in mind a disaster can disrupt mail service for days or even weeks. For those who depend on the mail for their Social Security benefits, a difficult situation can become worse if they are evacuated or lose their mail service, as 85,000 check recipients learned after Hurricane Katrina. Switching to electronic payments is one simple, significant way people can protect themselves financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option for people with bank accounts. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at www.GoDirect.org.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks for people who do not have a bank account. Sign up is easy, call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online at www.USDirectExpress.com.

Signing up for direct deposit or the Direct Express® card is a simple but important step that can help protect your family access to funds in case the unthinkable were to happen. If you or those close to you are still receiving Social Security or other federal benefits by check, please consider switching to one of these safer, easier options today.


Support Networks

  • If you anticipate needing assistance during a disaster, talk to family, friends and others who will be part of your personal support network.
  • Write down and share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network.
  • Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster.
  • Make sure that someone in your local network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Teach those who will help you how to use any lifesaving equipment, administer medicine in case of an emergency.
  • Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your network.

Medical Supplies

  • If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need to make it on your own for at least a week, maybe longer.
  • Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and orders for medical equipment, including dosage, treatment and allergy information in your emergency kit. Also consider keeping electronic copies of this information on a flash drive. This could be useful for others even if you do not personally use a computer often.
  • If you are able to obtain an emergency supply of prescription medications or consumable medical supplies, be sure to establish a plan for rotating your supply so it remains up-to-date.
  • If you cannot easily obtain a emergency supplies, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you can do to prepare.
  • If you are unable to obtain an emergency supply, be sure to always fill prescriptions on the first day you become eligible for a refill, rather than waiting until the day you run out.
  • If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
  • Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries and oxygen. 

Emergency Documents

  • Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, medical records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank accounts information and tax records.
  • Have copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards readily available.
  • Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices or other life-sustaining devices. Include operating information and instructions.
  • Make sure that a friend or family member has copies of these documents.
  • Include the names and contact information of your support network, as well as your medical providers.
  • If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
  • Keep these documents in a water proof container for quick and easy access.
Jul 19 2023 07:57 AM
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Wireless Emergency Alerts

Emergency Alerts

WEA Screen image of disaster text from the government displaying on a smart phone screen.
Visit the FEMA Library to downloadWEA PSA (:30)
View "WEA PSA (:30)" on Youtube.

You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are - at home, at school, at work, or even on vacation.

Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or human-caused disasters. Please go to the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System  website to learn more information about this national alerting system.  Register below for notifications for residents of the Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson.

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.

We have used the Cornwall Central School District notification system during emergencies to alert the public to about critical information as their system is the most up to date to keep in touch with parents.

Consider having relatives or close friends register for emergency notifications also to keep them informed during no notice incidents in which you may rely upon them for assistance.  It is also a good idea to register for alerts where your kids attend school and while on travel or vacation.

It would be best if you opt-in for alerts through several systems to ensure you receive the message and type of notifications you wish to receive:

The Town of Cornwall, Orange County, and New York State utilizes NY Alert to notify the public about emergency information.  NY-Alert Emergency Notification System

The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Water Department uses CodeRED which covers all in our community who have municipal water services.  You may receive notification about a water service disruption and other notifications from the mayor’s office, highway department or fire department also.  To sign up for CodeRED visit Cornwall-on-Hudson CodeRED Notification System

Orange County has also implemented the CodeRED Emergency notification system. To sign up for the Orange County CodeRED system visit Orange County CodeRED Emergency Notification System

What you need to know about WEAs:

  • WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States
  • WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential
  • WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice
  • WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress
  • Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe
  • To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider

The IPAWS Program Management Office (PMO) created five, short video clips designed to ensure the American people understand the functions of the public alert and warning system and how to access, use, and respond to information from public safety officials. To learn more about WEAs, take advantage of the educational videos, available at www.fema.gov/ipaws, as well as the products below.

For Kids: Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Word Search Puzzle

For Educators: Wireless Emergency Alerts Instructional Materials

Online Training Courses


Emergency Alert System

  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure nationwide.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
  • EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.
  • EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.

For more information on the Emergency Alert System, download the EAS fact sheet or visithttp://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-system.


NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.

  • NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System.

EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM - Lower Hudson Valley

Primary EAS Radio Stations for the Hudson Valley

WLNA 1420 AM WHUD 100.7 FM

Emergency information will also be carried on the following stations:

AM Radio

WOR 710 AM

WABC 770 AM

WCBS 880 AM

WINS 1010 AM

WFAS 1230 AM

FM Radio

WRPJ 88.9 FM

WOSR 91.7 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

WJGK 103.1

FM Television

WCBS CH 2

WNBC CH 4

WNYW CH 5

WABC CH 7

News 12 Hudson Valley

Note: All radio stations operate 24/7.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Learning Resources

Visit the FEMA Media Library and download these tools:

Visit the FEMA Library to download Wireless Emergency Alerts PSA (:30)
View "Wireless Emergency Alerts PSA (:30)" on Youtube.

Jul 18 2023 04:41 PM
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Recovery and Relief

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safe conditions are a primary concern, as are the mental and physical well-being, of those impacted by disaster. Knowing how to access assistance, if available, makes the recovery & relief process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home, your community and your life back to normal.

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Recovery and Relief

Aiding the Injured

Administer first aid and seek medical attention for any injured person following a disaster.

  • Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. If you must move an unconscious person, first stabilize the neck and back, then call for help immediately.
  • If the victim is not breathing, carefully position the victim for artificial respiration, clear the airway and commence mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Maintain body temperature with blankets. Be sure the victim does not become overheated.
  • Never try to feed liquids to an unconscious person.
Jul 19 2023 08:06 AM
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Disaster Assistance

Disasters are upsetting experiences for everyone involved. The emotional toll that disaster brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damage and loss of home, business or personal property.

Children, senior citizens, people with access or functional needs, and people for whom English is not their first language are especially at risk. Children may become afraid and some elderly people may seem disoriented at first. People with access or functional needs may require additional assistance.

Seek crisis counseling if you or someone in your family is experiencing issues with disaster-related stress.


Understanding Events

Understand the individual effects of a disaster.

  • Everyone who sees or experiences a disaster is affected by it in some way.
  • It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends.
  • Profound sadness, grief and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
  • Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover.
  • Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal.
  • Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy.
  • Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping.
  • It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain.

Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster second hand through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling.

As you recover, it is a good idea to make sure that you have updated your family disaster plan and replenished essential disaster supplies just in case a disaster happens again. You will always feel better knowing that you are prepared and ready for anything.


Disaster Related Stress

Seek counseling if you or a family member are experiencing disaster-related stress.

Recognize Signs of Disaster-Related Stress

When adults have the following signs, they might need crisis counseling or stress management assistance:

  • Difficulty communicating thoughts.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
  • Low threshold of frustration.
  • Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
  • Limited attention span.
  • Poor work performance.
  • Headaches/stomach problems.
  • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
  • Colds or flu-like symptoms.
  • Disorientation or confusion.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Reluctance to leave home.
  • Depression, sadness.
  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
  • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

Children and Disasters

Disasters can leave children feeling frightened, confused, and insecure. Whether a child has personally experienced trauma, has merely seen the event on television or has heard it discussed by adults, it is important for parents and teachers to be informed and ready to help if reactions to stress begin to occur.

Children may respond to disaster by demonstrating fears, sadness or behavioral problems. Younger children may return to earlier behavior patterns, such as bedwetting, sleep problems and separation anxiety. Older children may also display anger, aggression, school problems or withdrawal. Some children who have only indirect contact with the disaster but witness it on television may develop distress.

Recognize Risk Factors

For many children, reactions to disasters are brief and represent normal reactions to "bnormal events. A smaller number of children can be at risk for more enduring psychological distress as a function of three major risk factors:

  • Direct exposure to the disaster, such as being evacuated, observing injuries or death of others, or experiencing injury along with fearing ones life is in danger.
  • Loss/grief: This relates to the death or serious injury of family or friends.
  • On-going stress from the secondary effects of disaster, such as temporarily living elsewhere, loss of friends and social networks, loss of personal property, parental unemployment, and costs incurred during recovery to return the family to pre-disaster life and living conditions.

Vulnerabilities in Children

In most cases, depending on the risk factors above, distressing responses are temporary. In the absence of severe threat to life, injury, loss of loved ones, or secondary problems such as loss of home, moves, etc., symptoms usually diminish over time. For those that were directly exposed to the disaster, reminders of the disaster such as high winds, smoke, cloudy skies, sirens, or other reminders of the disaster may cause upsetting feelings to return. Having a prior history of some type of traumatic event or severe stress may contribute to these feelings.

Childrens coping with disaster or emergencies is often tied to the way parents cope. They can detect adults fears and sadness. Parents and adults can make disasters less traumatic for children by taking steps to manage their own feelings and plans for coping. Parents are almost always the best source of support for children in disasters. One way to establish a sense of control and to build confidence in children before a disaster is to engage and involve them in preparing a family disaster plan. After a disaster, children can contribute to a family recovery plan.

Meeting the Childs Emotional Needs

Childrens reactions are influenced by the behavior, thoughts, and feelings of adults. Adults should encourage children and adolescents to share their thoughts and feelings about the incident. Clarify misunderstandings about risk and danger by listening to childrens concerns and answering questions. Maintain a sense of calm by validating childrens concerns and perceptions and with discussion of concrete plans for safety.

Listen to what the child is saying. If a young child is asking questions about the event, answer them simply without the elaboration needed for an older child or adult. Some children are comforted by knowing more or less information than others; decide what level of information your particular child needs. If a child has difficulty expressing feelings, allow the child to draw a picture or tell a story of what happened.

Try to understand what is causing anxieties and fears. Be aware that following a disaster, children are most afraid that:

  • The event will happen again.
  • Someone close to them will be killed or injured.
  • They will be left alone or separated from the family.

Reassuring Children After a Disaster

Suggestions to help reassure children include the following:

  • Personal contact is reassuring. Hug and touch your children.
  • Calmly provide factual information about the recent disaster and current plans for insuring their safety along with recovery plans.
  • Encourage your children to talk about their feelings.
  • Spend extra time with your children such as at bedtime.
  • Re-establish your daily routine for work, school, play, meals, and rest.
  • Involve your children by giving them specific chores to help them feel they are helping to restore family and community life.
  • Praise and recognize responsible behavior.
  • Understand that your children will have a range of reactions to disasters.
  • Encourage your children to help update your a family disaster plan.

If you have tried to create a reassuring environment by following the steps above, but your child continues to exhibit stress, if the reactions worsen over time, or if they cause interference with daily behavior at school, at home, or with other relationships, it may be appropriate to talk to a professional. You can get professional help from the childs primary care physician, a mental health provider specializing in childrens needs, or a member of the clergy.

Monitor and Limit Exposure to the Media

News coverage related to a disaster may elicit fear and confusion and arouse anxiety in children. This is particularly true for large-scale disasters or a terrorist event where significant property damage and loss of life has occurred. Particularly for younger children, repeated images of an event may cause them to believe the event is recurring over and over.

If parents allow children to watch television or use the Internet where images or news about the disaster are shown, parents should be with them to encourage communication and provide explanations. This may also include parents monitoring and appropriately limiting their own exposure to anxiety-provoking information.

Use Support Networks

Parents help their children when they take steps to understand and manage their own feelings and ways of coping. They can do this by building and using social support systems of family, friends, community organizations and agencies, faith-based institutions, or other resources that work for that family. Parents can build their own unique social support systems so that in an emergency situation or when a disaster strikes, they can be supported and helped to manage their reactions. As a result, parents will be more available to their children and better able to support them. Parents are almost always the best source of support for children in difficult times. But to support their children, parents need to attend to their own needs and have a plan for their own support.

Preparing for disaster helps everyone in the family accept the fact that disasters do happen, and provides an opportunity to identify and collect the resources needed to meet basic needs after disaster. Preparation helps; when people feel prepared, they cope better and so do children.

Below are common reactions in children after a disaster or traumatic event.

Birth through 2 years. When children are pre-verbal and experience a trauma, they do not have the words to describe the event or their feelings. However, they can retain memories of particular sights, sounds, or smells. Infants may react to trauma by being irritable, crying more than usual, or wanting to be held and cuddled. The biggest influence on children of this age is how their parents cope. As children get older, their play may involve acting out elements of the traumatic event that occurred several years in the past and was seemingly forgotten.

Preschool - 3 through 6 years. Preschool children often feel helpless and powerless in the face of an overwhelming event. Because of their age and small size, they lack the ability to protect themselves or others. As a result, they feel intense fear and insecurity about being separated from caregivers. Preschoolers cannot grasp the concept of permanent loss. They can see consequences as being reversible or permanent. In the weeks following a traumatic event, preschoolers play activities may reenact the incident or the disaster over and over again.

School age - 7 through 10 years. The school-age child has the ability to understand the permanence of loss. Some children become intensely preoccupied with the details of a traumatic event and want to talk about it continually. This preoccupation can interfere with the childs concentration at school and academic performance may decline. At school, children may hear inaccurate information from peers. They may display a wide range of reactions, sadness, generalized fear, or specific fears of the disaster happening again, guilt over action or inaction during the disaster, anger that the event was not prevented, or fantasies of playing rescuer.

Pre-adolescence to adolescence - 11 through 18 years. As children grow older, they develop a more sophisticated understanding of the disaster event. Their responses are more similar to adults. Teenagers may become involved in dangerous, risk-taking behaviors, such as reckless driving, or alcohol or drug use. Others can become fearful of leaving home and avoid previous levels of activities. Much of adolescence is focused on moving out into the world. After a trauma, the view of the world can seem more dangerous and unsafe. A teenager may feel overwhelmed by intense emotions and yet feel unable to discuss them with others.

Oct 17 2023 12:11 PM
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Health & Safety

Health

  • Be aware of exhaustion. Do not try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Get enough rest.
  • Drink plenty of clean water. Eat well.
  • Wear sturdy work boots and gloves.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water often when working in debris.

Safety

Be aware of safety issues after a disaster.

  • Be aware of new safety issues created by the disaster. Watch for washed out roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring and slippery floors.
  • Inform local authorities about health and safety issues, including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation and dead animals.
Jul 19 2023 08:09 AM
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Returning Home

Returning home can be both physically and mentally challenging. Above all, use caution. You may be anxious to see your property but do not return to your home before the area is declared to be safe by local officials.


Before Entering

Inspect your home carefully before entering.

Walk carefully around the outside and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.

  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you so you can listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use a battery-powered flash light to inspect a damaged home.
    Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering, the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • As you return home, watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.

Do not enter if:

  • You smell gas.
  • Floodwaters remain around the building.
  • Your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.

Going Inside

Be cautious when entering your home after a disaster.

When you go inside your home, there are certain things you should and should not do. Enter the home carefully and check for damage. Be aware of loose boards and slippery floors. The following items are other things to check inside your home:

  • Natural gas. If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing sound, open a window and leave immediately. Turn off the main gas valve from the outside, if you can. Call the gas company from a neighbors residence. If you shut off the gas supply at the main valve, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Do not smoke or use oil, gas lanterns, candles or torches for lighting inside a damaged home until you are sure there is no leaking gas or other flammable materials present.
  • Sparks, broken or frayed wires. Check the electrical system unless you are wet, standing in water or unsure of your safety. If possible, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If the situation is unsafe, leave the building and call for help. Do not turn on the lights until you are sure they are safe to use. You may want to have an electrician inspect your wiring.
  • Roof, foundation and chimney cracks. If it looks like the building may collapse, leave immediately.
  • Appliances. If appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, unplug appliances and let them dry out. Have appliances checked by a professional before using them again. Also, have the electrical system checked by an electrician before turning the power back on.
  • Water and sewage systems. If pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. Check with local authorities before using any water; the water could be contaminated. Pump out wells and have the water tested by authorities before drinking. Do not flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.
  • Food and other supplies. Throw out all food and other supplies that you suspect may have become contaminated or come in to contact with floodwater.
  • Your basement. If your basement has flooded, pump it out gradually (about one third of the water per day) to avoid damage. The walls may collapse and the floor may buckle if the basement is pumped out while the surrounding ground is still waterlogged.
  • Open cabinets. Be alert for objects that may fall.
  • Clean up household chemical spills. Disinfect items that may have been contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. Also clean salvageable items.
  • Call your insurance agent. Take pictures of damages. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.

Wild Animals

Be wary of wildlife as you return home after a disaster.

Disaster and life threatening situations will exacerbate the unpredictable nature of wild animals. To protect yourself and your family, learn how to deal with wildlife.

Guidelines

  • Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. Wild animals will likely feel threatened and may endanger themselves by dashing off into floodwaters, fire, and so forth.
  • Wild animals often seek higher ground which, during floods, eventually become submerged (i.e., island) and the animals become stranded. If the island is large enough and provides suitable shelter, you can leave food appropriate to the species (i.e., sunflower seeds for squirrels). Animals have a flight response and will flee from anyone approaching too closely. If the animal threatens to rush into the water, back away from the island or you may frighten the animal into jumping into the water to escape from you.
  • Do not approach wild animals that have taken refuge in your home. Wild animals such as snakes, opossums and raccoons often seek refuge from floodwaters on upper levels of homes and have been known to remain after water recedes. If you encounter animals in this situation, open a window or provide another escape route and the animal will likely leave on its own. Do not attempt to capture or handle the animal.
  • Beware of an increased number of snakes and other predators. These animals will try to feed on the carcasses of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals who have been drowned or crushed in their burrows or under rocks.
  • Do not attempt to move a dead animal. Animal carcasses can present serious health risks. Outbreaks of anthrax, encephalitis and other diseases may occur. 
  • If bitten by an animal, seek immediate medical attention.
Jul 19 2023 08:14 AM
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Prepare

Prepare


Most of us are aware that emergency preparedness is important to manage disasters. Yet many people have made little, if any, actual preparations! How about you? Are you ready? Help protect you and yours by planning and preparing today! Events with little to no notice such as severe or extreme weather, prolonged power outages, fires, violence, and hazardous materials transportation incidents are some significant risks to the public.

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Prepare

Awareness

This resource contains step by step advice on how to prepare for disasters, will help you to be ready when the time comes and provides you with a resource for information on how to respond or recover during an emergency situation. Used in conjunction with information and instructions from other local and county emergency management agencies and organizations, the information on this site will give you what you need to be prepared.

We know that the next emergency is coming. We just do not know when or what kind it will be. But we can and must prepare now for the next emergency. Our family, friends and community depend on it.

There are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.  

This site contains the following helpful information for each type of disaster:

  • How to plan with your household and prepare in advance so you are ready
  • Signs of hazardous events that come with very little warning
  • How to protect your household during the disaster
  • Begin recovery following the initial disaster

Learn this information for each type of disaster that could affect you:
•    Natural Disasters
•    Technological & Accidental Hazards
•    Terrorist Hazards
•    Pandemics
•    Home Fires

 

Cornwall Mill Street Fire

Jul 19 2023 08:33 AM
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Build A Kit

In general, the supplies you will have in your emergency kit will assist and prepare you for many emergencies and incidents, both natural and man made. However, certain incidents and emergencies have differing effects ranging from duration, magnitude and severity. For those other more specific incidents, we have created specific pages as available above in the horizontal tabbed navigation.

A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. The purpose of an emergency supply kit is to organize necessities you will need to survive.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least one week.  First Responders and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or weeks, or longer. Your supply kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.


Basics

The Cornwall Office of Emergency Management recommends the following to include in your basic/general emergency supply kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least one week, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a one week supply of non perishable food
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra extended life batteries for both
  • Flashlights and extra extended life batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hand-operated can opener for food
  • Cell phone with extra chargers, 12-Volt inverter or solar charger

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or travelers checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding supplies for very cold winter temperatures.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper. When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher (ABC Dry Chemical 5lb minimum preferred)
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper, pen and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Family Radio Service (FRS) two-way radios with supply of extended life batteries for communications
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector with extended life batteries
Jul 19 2023 08:35 AM
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Donation Registry

New York State Executive Law Article 2B §29-j authorizes the Cornwall NY Office of Emergency Management to accept assistance for the purpose of preparing for, responding to, or recovering from a disaster emergency. Such assistance may include gifts and donations of real or personal property from public or private sources. This assistance may be used to support local disaster operations, or it may be distributed to disaster response organizations supporting local disaster operations.

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Donation Registry

Registry

Section 29-j of the NYS Executive Law requires that the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management maintain a database of all assistance accepted during a disaster emergency. This database must be made available to the public on the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management website. In accordance with this statutory requirement, this page will contain information on all assistance accepted by Cornwall Office of Emergency Management related to a disaster emergency.

The Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson provide a limited to near zero based annual budget in support of the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management.  We are 100% reliant upon donations for Emergency Management Programs - contributions are tax deductible.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND SUPPORT!


All donations, legally, must go through the Town of Cornwall @ 183 Main Street, Cornwall, NY 12518.

Donor Date Value Type of Donation Description of Donation
Hans C. Olsen, 1940 Dean Street, Niskayuna, NY 12309 2013 - Sept 2021 $150,000.00 Services Emergency Management Specialist Support - Management of Information Technology, Cyber, Research & Development, Communications
Entergy - Indian Point Energy Center, 450 Broadway, Buchanan, NY 10511 2014 - April 8 $15,000.00 Monetary Portable Emergency Operations Center Equipment
Union College - 807 Union Street, Schenectady, NY 12308 2015 - January 22 $1,000.00 Laptop 2010 MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz w/4 GB RAM and 250 GB hard drive w/ Superdrive)
Riverbed Technology - 680 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94017 2015 - July 28 $2,100.00 Technology Equipment AirPcap NX for RF Signal Propagation in Support of Critical Infrastructure Data Backbone and Emergency Response
CSX Transportation - 500 Water Street, C420, Jacksonville, FL 32202 2015 - October 16 $5,000.00 Monetary Emergency Management Program Support
Brandon Hoffman 2017 - July 28 $550.00 Monetary and Services Ready Website Funding and New Logo Design
Dana Schomp 2017 - July 29 $35.00 Monetary Ready Website Funding
Elena Mercado, Niskayuna, NY 2020 - March 26 $-

Supplies

Home Sewn Personal Protective Equipment (Masks); in support of COVID-19 Pandemic
Alioth LLC (d/b/a QuickChart) - 30 N Gould St Ste R Sheridan, WY 82801 2020 - May 26 $60.00/mo Licensing Waiver QuickChart Image Chart API Enterprise Licensing Features

 

Jul 19 2023 08:47 AM
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Status of Storm King

Status of Storm King


Learn about initiatives to improve safety for motorists traveling US Route 9W and NY Route 218 over Storm King Mountain.

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Status of Storm King

Status of Storm King

Storm King Mountain

Police District Map | Fire District Map | EMS District Map

REPORT ALL TRAFFIC SAFETY ISSUES | REFERENCE CLOSEST MILE MARKER WHEN CALLING

FOR ALL EMERGENCIES DIAL 9-1-1 | STATE POLICE 845-778-7111 | CORNWALL POLICE 845-534-8100 | HIGHLANDS POLICE 845-446-4010

For Real Time Traffic Conditions in the Hudson Valley, visit NY 511 Hudson Valley Traffic Management Center

 

June 2024  Contractors are expected to begin drainage, median barrier, and wall improvements on 9W between Cornwall and Highlands.  Improvements to drainage including underdrain installation, reestablishing asphalt gutters at sufficient depths, replacement of wall parapet, replacement of median concrete barriers the entire lenght of Storm King Mountain. This infrastructure investment is valued over $20MM.

July 9 2023 flash flooding from a severe thunderstorm washed out a large section of NY-218. Work is underway and the roadway is expected to be restored in fall, 2024.

October/November 2018  Motorists have submitted numerous concerns to NYS DOT and Elected State Officials regarding seemingly worsening flooding conditions after paving was completed over the summer.  Through grassroots efforts by several members of the Facebook group, "Status of Storm King," NYS DOT is in the process of implementing an action plan to hopefully improve drainage issues before Winter.  To ensure open communications with all stakeholders, please use our form to submit your comments.  If there is a safety issue that requires immediate attention, please contact the respective Police agency with jurisdiction identified by Mile Markers or Dial 9-1-1.

May/June 2018  The 5.4 mile stretch of 9W from Angola Road in the Town of Cornwall to the Route 218-Route 293 interchange in the Town of Highlands is being repaved at an estimated cost of $3.8 million.

24 February 2017 Stakeholders attended the Second Storm King Mountain Roundtable in Cornwall-on-Hudson in a collaborative effort to continue work to improve 9W over Storm King Mountain for the safety of motorists and first responders.

28 December 2015 NYS DOT has utilized the new radio system with great success during the first significant Winter event. Many motorists complemented NYS DOT on the great attention to Storm King Mountain for this event on social media.

21 December 2015 NYS DOT has completed a pad site for locating a new electronic messaging board adjacent to the Indian Point Siren on 9W South of Angola Road.  Two additional electronic signs have been requested for 9W and Route 32 for notification improvements.

18 December 2015 NYS DOT is now able to communicate with their vehicles using two-way radios while operating on Storm King Mountain after installation of a new system for the Winter Season.

20 October 2015 NYS DOT has completed installation of new large mile marker signs over Storm King Mountain.  These are installed on the concrete median for maximum visibility by motorists.

9 October 2015 NYS DOT has assured us the new large mile marker signs will be installed on 9W over Storm King Mountain before the snow flies.  Additionally, the replacement electronic messaging board will be relocated just south of Angola Road by the Indian Point Siren once they can improve the shoulder.

25 August 2015 NYS DOT has received the new large mile marker signs and they are awaiting installation at the Poughkeepsie Regional Headquarters.

20 July 2015 - NYS DOT is anticipating shipping of mile marker signs from CORCRAFT (NY Prisons) the last week of July.

14 June 2015 - A Hit and Run Driver destroyed the electronic sign in Cornwall on 9W.  A thorough investigation conducted by Cornwall Police brought the driver to justice. The sign was a total loss valued over $22k and restitution was made to NYS.  There will be a replacement VMB in place for this Winter Season.

30 May 2015 - NYS DOT is awaiting delivery of larger mile marker signs to install over the summer on the median to help 9-1-1 callers identify their location. 

20 February 2015 - Messaging Boards Are In Place on 9W over Storm King Mountain (one South in Cornwall and one North in Highlands) and operational remotely through the NYS DOT Traffic Management Center.

18 February 2015 - Efforts are underway to place temporary electronic signs to inform motorists of conditions on Storm King, one Southbound in Cornwall and one Northbound in Highlands. We will keep you informed when they are operational.

13 February 2015 - The First Storm King Mountain Roundtable was held in Cornwall-on-Hudson, uniting stakeholders in a collaborative effort to improve the safety of motorists and first responders on 9W over Storm King Mountain.

PRESS RELEASE

Motorists, First Responders Anxious for Safety Initiatives on the Often Terrifying Storm King Mountain

CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON - On February 13, the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management facilitated the "Storm King Mountain Roundtable" a collaborative effort with stakeholders to improve safety for motorists and first responders on the area of 9W mired with chronic problems, especially during the winter season.

The frequency of winter weather events over the past few years in our region has caused many accidents, stranded motorists, and miles of backed-up traffic on the heavily traveled Storm King Mountain according to Emergency Manager Kurt Hahn.

You need to travel with great caution on 9W over Storm King Mountain as conditions are often unpredictable and terrifying to both motorists and first responders alike from blind curves, disabled vehicles, fog, water runoff, snow, and ice. Inexperienced motorists tend to underestimate the hazards of traveling over a mountain Hahn says.

For those who commute daily over Storm King Mountain, their vehicles require more frequent maintenance especially braking systems, pads, rotors, and snow tires during the winter season. Motorists need to drive at speeds reasonable and prudent for hazards and conditions of the mountain.

There is growing frustration with frequent incidents on 9W over Storm King Mountain from employers, motorists, and first responders.

West Point Colonel Landy Dunham said, "When we issue a Code Red, taxpayers lose over $1 Million." Safety is the primary concern to make the decision for a Code Red as most West Point staff travel over 9W or Route 218 when it is open, Colonel Dunham says.

Motorists are calling for better notification such as variable messaging signs so they can attempt alternate routes or delay their commute. Two commuters from Cornwall, Sue Petersen and Theresa Cornish started the "Status of Storm King" Facebook group which now has almost 2,300 members to help spread the word about road conditions over 9W.

First responders are pleading for help also as multiple agencies (Police, Fire, EMS) from Cornwall, Cornwall-on-Hudson, and Town of Highlands are often dispatched simultaneously to calls on Storm King Mountain as there are no easily visible landmarks for callers to provide accurate location information. Those agencies are also frequently committed to the mountain for lengthy periods of time, leaving their communities with limited resources to respond for emergenies. One recent event Storm King Mountain required all local Police for over an hour and forty-five minutes.

For two hours participants at the Storm King Mountain Roundtable discussed the history of problems and possible improvements for this season, next season, and long-term. Stakeholders pledged steadfast support to improve the safety of motorists and first responders.

Pete Teliska, Regional Engineer for New York State DOT has authorized the ordering of more prominent signs for motorists to reference over the mountain when calling for assistance or 9-1-1. This will help with location accuracy when dispatching emergency services. DOT has also assured stakeholders they will aggressively request funding for electronic signs for Storm King Mountain at a budget meeting in Albany on February 23.

Representatives included Senator Bill Larkin, Laurie Tautel on behalf of Assemblyman James Skoufis, Orange County Legislator Kevin Hines, NYS DOT, NYS Police, Officials and First Responders from Cornwall, Cornwall-on-Hudson, Town of Highlands, Orange County, and West Point.

PARTICIPANTS

Kurt Hahn, Emergency Manager - Cornwall Office of Emergency Management

Bill Larkin, Senator - New York State Senate

Jim McGee, Constituent Liaison/Deputy Supervisor - New York State Senate/Town of Cornwall

Tony Cavallo, Senate Aide - New York State Senate

Laurie Tautel, Constituent Liaison James Skoufis - New York State Assembly

Brendan Casey, Captain - New York State Police

Bill Pullar, Resident Operations Engineer - New York State DOT

Shahid Quadri, Resident Engineer - New York State DOT

Pete Teliska, Regional Engineer - New York State DOT

Todd Hazard, Chief - Town of Cornwall Police

Steve Dixon, Chief - Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Police

Jack Quinn, Chief - Town of Highlands Police

Brendan Coyne, Mayor - Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson

Kevin Hines, Legislator - Orange County Legislature

Walter Koury, Commissioner - Orange County Department of Emergency Services

Vini Tankasali, Deputy Commissioner, Fire - Orange County Department of Emergency Services

Jeff Armitage, Chief - Cornwall-on-Hudson Fire Department

Tave Graham, Assistant Chief - Cornwall Fire Department

William Stroppel, Captain - Town of Highlands Ambulance

Kristina Englese, Lieutenant - Town of Highlands Ambulance

Colonel Landy Dunham, Garrison Commander - West Point Garrison

CSM Joel Crawford, Garrison Command Sergeant Major - West Point Garrison

LTC Scott Koast, Lieutenant Colonel - West Point Directorate of Emergency Services

Charles Peddy, Director - West Point Plans, Training, and Security

Nils Anderson, Public Affairs Officer - West Point Garrison

Unable to Attend:

James Skoufis, Assemblyman - New York State Assembly

Randy Clark, Supervisor - Town of Cornwall

Bob Livsey, Supervisor - Town of Highlands

Pat Hines, Chief - Cornwall Fire Department

Don Smith, Chief - Fort Montgomery Fire Department

Sean Boyle, Chief - Cornwall Ambulance

 

Feb 21 2024 09:58 PM
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Cornwall Office of Emergency Management

Cornwall Office of Emergency Management


The mission of the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management is to coordinate and integrate all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual disasters caused by natural, technological and human-caused hazards. Established 1951

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Cornwall Office of Emergency Management

mission

The mission of the Cornwall Office of Emergency Management is to coordinate and integrate all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual disasters caused by natural, technological and human-caused hazards.

Mar 2 2024 11:21 AM
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