Be Prepared for Emergencies
Disasters come in all shapes and sizes and are disruptive to our normal routines, whether at home or work.
Flooding, power outages, windstorms, ice storms, heavy snows, and fires over the years have wreaked havoc in Newburgh Heights.
Most people believe that village services will be able to provide assistance during any disaster but if the situation is large enough, that may not be the case.
During a disaster, calls for assistance are prioritized based on severity. Your situation may not be as severe as others in the community. There may be a time when you will need to be self-sufficient for a while before help can arrive.
Disasters can happen with little or no warning. Don’t wait for an emergency to think about being prepared. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way to ensure a successful outcome.
- Disasters happen anytime and anywhere. When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. Some disasters may call for you and your family to evacuate (hazardous materials spills, fires). Other disasters could mean that you and your family may be confined at home. Remember, when disaster strikes:
- Authorities and relief workers will respond but cannot reach everyone immediately.
- You could get help in hours or it may take days depending on the severity of the situation.
- Would your family be prepared to cope with an emergency until help arrives? Preparing a Family Disaster Kit can help your family endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Prepare Your Kit
- Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home or during an evacuation.
- Place the items you’d most likely need for an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container.
- There are basic items you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools & emergency supplies, special items (prescription & non-prescription medications, sanitary items, important documents).
- Download this suggested list of supplies (Home Preparedness Kit Supplies) to start your own home preparedness kit.
First Energy Outage Reporting
Please treat all downed lines as live and dangerous. If you have a downed power line or power outage, call 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS) immediately.
Report Outages online:
- Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source of critical weather and emergency information during a storm.
- If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
- If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
- In order to protect against possible voltage irregularities that can occur when power is restored, you should unplug all sensitive electronic equipment, including TVs, computers, stereo, VCR, microwave oven, cordless telephone, answering machine and garage door opener. (Review the process for manually operating an electric garage door.)
- Be extra cautious when you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines, and keep children and pets away from them. Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences.
- Always assume a downed line is a live line. Call First Energy at 1-888-544-4877 to report any outage-related problem
Suggested Home Preparedness Kit Supplies
Remember to store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the Disaster Preparedness Kit in the trunk of your car. Change stored water & food every six months.
- Store water in plastic containers. Avoid using milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water daily. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one (1) gallon of water per person per day. Keep at least a three day supply per person (for drinking, food preparation and sanitation).
- Store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno.
- Pack the following foods which can also be taken with you during an evacuation:
- Ready-to-eat canned meat, fruits, vegetables, and staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.).
- Don’t forget a non-electric can opener.
- Canned juices, high energy foods, vitamins, baby formula & bottles, and powdered milk.
- Prescription Medications: Store in waterproof container, keep prescription records ( check shelf life) accessible and current. Bring a medicine dropper and cooler (if needed for RX).
- Dentures, contact lenses, and eyewear.
First Aid Kit:
- A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following items:
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes:
- 2″& 4″ sterile gauze pads
- 2″ & 3″ sterile roller bandages
- triangular bandages, assorted safety pins
- Latex gloves
- Scissors, tweezers, needle
- Moistened towelettes, antiseptic
- Tongue blades
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Non-Prescription Drugs:
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever.
- Anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxative.
- Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting) and Activated charcoal. (Only use if advised by the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222)
During the Flood
- Monitor the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Radio or your local radio and TV station broadcasts for information.
- If local officials advise evacuation, do so promptly.
- If directed to a specific location, go there.
- Know where the shelters are located.
- Bring outside possessions inside the house or tie them down securely. This includes lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other movable objects.
- If there is time, move essential items and furniture to upper floors in the house. Disconnect electrical appliances that cannot be moved. DO NOT touch them if you are wet or standing in water.
- If you are told to shut off water, gas, or electrical services before leaving, do so.
- Secure your home: lock all doors and windows.
Traveling During Floods
- Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
- Make sure you have enough fuel for your car.
- Follow recommended routes. DO NOT sight see.
- As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
- Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
- Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
- DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
- DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at 2 miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
- If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.
The Hidden Danger – Low-Water Crossing
- Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related! When driving your automobile during flood conditions, look out for flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas.
- Even the largest and heaviest of vehicles will float. Two feet of water will carry most cars away.
- As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Do not drive through flowing water!
- A hidden danger awaits motorists where a road without a bridge dips across a creek bed.
- Motorists develop false confidence when they normally or frequently pass through a dry low-water crossing.
- Road beds may have been scoured or even washed away during flooding creating unsafe driving conditions.
- Those who repeatedly drive through flooded low-water crossings may not recognize the dangers of a small increase in the water level.
- Driving too fast through low water will cause the vehicle to hydroplane and lose contact with the road surface.
- Visibility is limited at night increasing the vulnerability of the driver to any hidden dangers.
- Heed all flood and flash flood watches and warnings.
- Remain aware of road conditions!
After the Flood
- Listen to the radio or TV for instructions from local officials.
- Wait until an area has been declared safe before entering it. Be careful driving, since roads may be damaged and power lines may be down.
- Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Turn off any outside gas lines at the meter or tank. Let the building air out to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
- Upon entering the building, use a battery-powered flashlight. DO NOT use an open flame as a source of light. Gas may be trapped inside.
- When inspecting the building, wear rubber boots and gloves.
- Watch for electrical shorts and live wires before making certain the main power switch is off.
- DO NOT turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances.
- Throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.
- If the public water system is declared ‘unsafe’ by health officials, water for drinking and cooking should be boiled vigorously for 10 minutes.
- Shovel out mud with special attention to cleaning heating and plumbing systems.
- Flooded basements should be drained and cleaned as soon as possible. Structural damage can occur if drained too quickly. When surrounding waters have subsided, begin draining the basement in stages, about 1/3 of the water volume each day.
Suggested Home Preparedness Kit Supplies
Tools and Supplies:
- Plastic storage containers, mess kits, paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, plastic storage containers.
- Shut off wrench, to turn off household gas and water.
- Battery-operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
- Cash or traveler’s checks, change.
- Utility knife.
- Non-electric can opener.
- Pliers, tape, compass, needles, thread, signal flare, plastic sheeting or tent (for shelter).
- Paper, pencil, whistle, map of the area.
- Toilet paper, baby diapers, soap, liquid detergent, personal hygiene items, disinfectant, household chlorine bleach.
- Plastic bucket with tight lid and plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
- Games and books for children.
- Important family documents (keep in waterproof container) – Birth, marriage and death certificates, driver’s license, passport, insurance policies, social security card, health records, bank and credit card account numbers, safety deposit box keys.
- Inventory of valuable household goods.
- Important telephone numbers.