With the potential weather predicted for Potter County and much of the east coast, the Potter County Department of Emergency Services advises everyone to prepare now for the remnants of Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather predicted for early next week. Weather forecasters are predicting a very powerful, damaging, multi-day storm with high winds, heavy precipitation and flooding.
Residents are advised to stay alert by listening to the National Weather Service forecast for updates. Weather updates are available at http://weather.gov. Additional information on how to prepare for an emergency can also be found at www.ready.gov or by calling 1-800-BE-READY
Local utility companies are also preparing for the possibility of extended power outages. Residents are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of power outages lasting up to 7-10 days . Have on hand:
*Flashlight and extra batteries handy.
*Fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors
* Emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill bathtubs with fresh water.
* Emergency supply of convenience foods.
*Necessary prescription medicines are filled and in travel case
*Extra blankets or sleeping bags available.
*Battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand
*List of emergency contacts and phone numbers
*A Plain, hard-wired telephone handy; many cordless phones may not work if a power outage occurs. Cell phones may not work as well. Note..Cell phones may be charged using your car charger.
*If there is a potential for flooding in your area, elevate your furnace, water heater and electrical panel in your home
*DO NOT use gas stove, kerosene heaters or open-flame heat sources for warmth.
Residents are encouraged to fill their vehicle gas tanks, generators, and gas cans as fuel supplies may be limited during power outages. Sump pumps should also be checked and ready to run for extended periods.
Residents are encouraged to report any power outages to their local supplier. Estimated Time of Restoration may not be available in the early part of the storm.
To report an outage, First Energy Customers (West Penn Power & Penelec) should call
West Penn Power & Penelec customers can view power outage maps at www.firstenergycorp.com. Select Current Outage Maps under Outages.
Twitter updates are available via @W_Penn_Power and @Penelec.
Tri-County Rural Electric customers should call 1-800-343-2559 or 716-662-2175 to report power outages. Outage information can be viewed at http://www.tri-countyrec.com/trico/stormoutages.asp
Stay away from downed power lines and anything touching them!!
The PA Department of Transportation reminds motorists who must travel to be cautious as they travel throughout the storm period, allowing extra time to reach their destinations. Motorists are encouraged to drive defensively and to check road conditions before they head out as conditions may change drastically. Up-to-date road condition information is available at www.511PA.com.
If weather conditions become extremely dangerous, motorists are urged to stay off highways to make it easier for PA DOT to clear the roads and for local law enforcement to respond to emergency situations. If you must travel, motorists should pack an emergency travel kit including first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, warm clothes, a blanket and a small snow shovel.
Several inches of rain are being predicted. To help reduce the potential for additional flooding issues, residents should make sure their gutters and storm drains are clean and free of debris, leaves, etc.
In the event of flooding…
*MOVE to higher ground
*STAY OUT of low lying areas which are subject to flooding
*DO NOT cross flowing streams
*DO NOT drive through flooded areas or standing water.
*DO NOT drive around barricades
It is also important to take care of your pets in an emergency. Just as we prepare our families to survive during an emergency, we must also prepare for our pets including a three day supply of food and water, medicines, first aid kits, color with ID tags, and crate or other pet carrier.
If you live alone, or are not able to be alone for such an extended time, arrange to stay with friends or relatives during the emergency. DO NOT wait until last minute to prepare or relocate in case travel is hazardous.