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Lewisboro Police, Officials Brace For Hurricane

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – As Hurricane Irene makes its way up the eastern seaboard, the Lewisboro Police Department and town officials are busy making plans to make sure the town and its residents are well prepared for its arrival, which is expected to be around 5 a.m. on Sunday.

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” said Lewisboro Police Chief Frank Secret. “That’s what we are doing.”

Secret said his department is tracking the storm’s path and will make plans accordingly.

“Depending on when it hits, we will be either be keeping our people overnight or extending some shifts,” he said. “The question is, when are we going to get hit the worst?”

He said the department is making sure it is well stocked with emergency equipment to cope with every possible scenario.

“The thing we worry about the most is flooded roads and trees and wires down,” he said. “We will make sure we have extra flares and extra traffic cones and whatever else we might need.”

Supervisor Charles Duffy spent Thursday morning on a conference call with Jennifer Wachu, director of the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, to get ready for Irene.

“Everyone is reviewing emergency plans and coordinating with the first responders,” Duffy said. “We make to make sure we have our assets in place, and monitor the storm and be prepared.”

Duffy said the town will post information on the town website ( www.lewisborogov.com ) that will contain emergency contact numbers.

“People can feel free to contact the supervisor’s office as well if they have any questions,” he added. The number is (914) 763-3151.

Vista fire officials said they will have crews on standby throughout the weekend.

“At this stage we are planning to have emergency crews stand by in our quarters, probably Sunday into Monday morning,” said Assistant Chief Gary Lawson. “As the path of Irene becomes a little clearer, we will also be stocking up on water and ice, as well as preparing to operate as an area of refuge if required.”

Councilman Frank Kelly, who is also a member of the town emergency planning committee, said he’s been working closely with Duffy since the recent tornado warning and the recent earthquake. He said the town is well prepared to deal with Irene.

“There has been an emergency response plan in place for many years,” Kelly said. “We have conducted some exercises with surrounding jurisdictions to test the response plans. The office of emergency management (OEM) puts out periodic updates and conducts meetings. They have assets pre-positioned and are staffing an operations center.”

One of the things Kelly recommends is for residents to put together family preparedness kit. He said prepare the kit in advance and make it a family project. The kit should be in an easy carry bag and kept within reach. Kelly suggests the following items for the kit:

Flashlight and fresh batteries, drinking water and non-perishable food items, first-aid supplies and medications, some hand tools, such as a wrench, pliers, and screwdriver, important family information, like contact numbers, locations, etc., battery-operated radio, duct tape, candles, matches in waterproof container, personal hygiene items, pain relievers and infant supplies, such as diapers.

Kelly said that if for any reason you must disinfect water, use unscented bleach in the ratio of eight drops per gallon, about 1/4 teaspoon, and let the mixture sit 30 minutes before use.

“We don’t want to be alarmists – people should not be overly alarmed,” he said. “They should go about their daily business prudently, safely and slowly. If it looks like you should not be driving, then don't.”

Kelly said people with special needs, such as electricity-dependent medical apparatus, should make extra plans and have precautionary measures in place. Contact the Town House, fire department, police department and/or local hospital for particular help with special requirements.

A list of emergency phone numbers and websites include:

Police/Fire EMS Emergency: 911

New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG): 800-572-1131

Verizon: 800-837-4966

Cablevision: 800-577-2225

NYS DOT (Recorded Updates): 888-465-1169

National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov

National Weather Service: www.weather.gov

What and how to prepare: www.ready.gov

What are you doing to prepare for Hurricane Irene? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheDailyLewisboro

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