Albany, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging New Yorkers to prepare for severe thunderstorms, that could produce tornados, frequent cloud to ground lightning strikes and large hail as a cold front moves throughout the state that will produce severe weather. Residents in the affected regions to stay tuned to local weather and media outlets and to subscribe to NY-Alert; New York’s free, subscription based emergency notification system. Additionally, if you are planning to travel or outdoor activities, plan ahead and listen frequently to your local media for weather updates and alerts.
“Severe thunderstorms can occur very quickly and create extremely dangerous situations for communities in their path,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge New Yorkers in affected regions, as well as those who plan on traveling this holiday weekend, to exercise caution and properly prepare for severe weather in order to keep themselves and their families safe.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “We are monitoring the weather and are in constant contact with the National Weather Service as well as emergency managers in the affected areas.”
Tornado Watches have been issued by the National Weather Service until 10:00 PM for Albany; Bronx; Broome; Chenango; Columbia; Delaware; Dutchess; Fulton; Greene; Hamilton; Herkimer; Kings; Madison; Montgomery; Nassau; New York; Oneida; Orange; Otsego; Putnam; Queens; Rensselaer; Richmond; Rockland; Saratoga; Schenectady; Schoharie; Sullivan; Ulster; Warren; Washington; and Westchester counties.
The Governor offered the following tips as the storm approaches:
Know Your Terms:
Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable over a large area for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to develop. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and your local media for weather updates and stay informed!
Tornado Warning A tornado has been detected or seen, is on the ground and moving and is expected to move through your area soon. You should TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!
Before the storm hits:
•Tie down or bring inside lawn furniture, trash cans, tools and hanging plants that could be projectiles during the storm.
•If you have a basement, check sump pumps to ensure they are operating and be prepared to use a backup system.
•Have a standby generator or alternative source of power available.
•Check on neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled.
As the storm approaches:
•Stay inside, away from windows and glass doors.
•Charge your cellphones and important electronic devices
•Stay off roads. If you are traveling, find safe shelter immediately.
If you must travel:
•Do not attempt to drive over flooded roads turn around and go another way. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
•Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
•If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.
If you are at home or at work:
•Stay at home unless you have been ordered to leave.
•Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.
•Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
•Turn off propane tanks.
•Unplug major appliances.
•Fill large containers with water.
If winds become strong:
•Stay away from windows and doors even if they are covered.
•Close all interior doors.
•Secure and brace external doors.
•If you are in a two or multiple-story house, go to an interior lower-floor room.
•Remain indoors during a severe thunder storm. If warned of a tornado, go to a basement or other low area in your home or business or in a room with no windows.
If you lose electrical service:
•Call your utility first to determine area repair schedules. Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored. Leave one light on to indicate power has been restored.
•Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to help reduce food spoilage.
•If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, fill plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one. This will help keep food cold.
The best way to receive emergency information is to subscribe to NY-ALERT, the States alert and notification system. Visit www.nyalert.gov.
For more information on how to best prepare, visit: http://www.nyprepare.gov.