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 September 9, 2017

For Release: Immediately

September is National Preparedness Month

Learn how to prepare for emergencies

National Preparedness Month reminds residents to plan for emergencies that could impact their families and communities. Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. urges customers to be prepared for the potential for severe weather and other significant events in order to keep themselves safe before, during and after disasters strike.

“Unfortunately, recent hurricane activities affecting parts of the United States and the Bahamas underscore the importance of preparing before and knowing what to do during emergencies,” said Charles A. Freni, President and C.E.O of Central Hudson.  “We strongly recommend that our customers speak with their families about creating a communications plan and preparing for any type of emergency.”

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has designated, “Prepared, Not Scared,” as the 2019 National Preparedness Month theme, and lists ways in which families can be ready for emergencies, including:

  • Keeping some cash on hand in case of emergencies, since ATMs and credit card readers won’t always be available. Cash can help pay for immediate expenses like lodging, food and gas; 
  • Taking photographs of important documents and personal belongings to help you quickly file an insurance claim after storm damage; and
  • Assembling a basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
    • Water: One gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation;
    • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food;
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert;
    • Flashlight with extra batteries;
    • First aid kit;
    • Whistle to signal for help; and
    • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

“When storms and other emergencies impact our region, Central Hudson follows a comprehensive emergency plan,” said Freni. “Our customers, too, should know how to prepare, understand what to do during an emergency to stay safe, create a plan to communicate with each other and know of the many ways to communicate with Central Hudson.” In addition to the steps outlined by FEMA, he suggested that customers:

  • Pay close attention to weather forecasts, storm warnings and travel advisories;
  • Ensure adequate supplies of prescription medications and other necessities;
  • Keep vehicles refueled and ensure that they are in good working condition;
  • Familiarize themselves in advance with the features of StormCentral on Central Hudson’s website;
  • Sign up for text messaging at www.CentralHudson.com/alerts; and
  • Visit the Central Hudson Facebook page and “like” it to obtain updates.

Customers enrolled in the Central Hudson’s Texting Program can use text messaging to report an electric service interruption, receive text messages from Central Hudson when a power interruption is predicted to have occurred, and obtain repair status; go to www.CentralHudson.com/Alerts to register. Other ways customers can keep informed before, during and following storms and emergencies include:

  • Web: Visit www.CentralHudson.com to view the outage map, report outages and obtain restoration updates.
  • Mobile Devices: A mobile version of the Central Hudson’s website, including the outage map, can be accessed by web-enabled cell phones and mobile devices at http://mobile.CentralHudson.com. Free Central Hudson mobile applications for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices are also available by logging onto www.CentralHudson.com/mobileapp.
  • Social Media: “Like” Central Hudson on Facebook (com/CentralHudson); and “Follow” on Twitter (www.twitter.com/CentralHudson).
  • Radio and news media: Listen to local radio stations for Central Hudson announcements about community resources and restoration updates during severe storms, and check reports by the local news media.
  • Phone: Call the PowerLine at (845) 452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714, and use the automated system.

 “When emergencies strike, particularly during and in the aftermath of severe weather, residents should exercise extreme caution when traveling, as fallen trees and downed lines can create hazardous driving conditions,” said Freni. “Assume all fallen lines are live, and stay at least 30 feet way. Be aware of flooded roadways, and especially avoid water and objects near fallen lines as they may be in contact with electricity. Also, pay attention to road closures and detours, as repair crews may be working in the vicinity.”

After storms and emergencies strike, customers should follow these safety measures:

  • Stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines, and lines which may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees. Assume all downed lines are live;
  • Report any gas odors by calling 911 or 1-800-942-8274, as severe flooding has the potential to undermine pipelines;
  • Avoid the use of candles for illumination;
  • Follow all travel advisories, heed road closures and detours, and limit driving during and immediately following severe weather;
  • Use extreme caution when entering flooded basements, as there may be a risk of shock if the home’s or building’s electric system is compromised;
  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the use of emergency generators, and be sure to shut off the main breaker when in use and operate the units outdoors; and
  • Never use outdoor gas or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose a fire hazard and over time can give off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Use these appliances only outdoors with proper ventilation. Operate cars and motor vehicles outdoors only, and never in the garage.

More information on preparing for storms and emergencies and communicating with Central Hudson is available in the Storms & Outages section at www.CentralHudson.com; for information regarding electric and natural gas safety, visit www.CentralHudson.com/Safety; for more on National Preparedness Month, go to www.Ready.Gov/September or visit the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/national-preparedness-month, or; and for important steps on creating a family communications plan, go to www.Ready.Gov/Make-A-Plan.

 

Central Hudson offers ways to stay informed and safe during severe weather and other emergencies.