GOLDEN BRIDGE, NY – This summer’s storm forecast is expected to start early and have more severe weather events than usual. Golden’s Bridge Fire chief Dennis Delborgo shared some expert advice with Patch on how to prevent a natural disaster from turning into a tragedy.
From the Golden Bridge Fire Department.
With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association forecasting higher-than-normal forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season, and warnings of more intense weather systems in store for our region this summer, a local emergency services responder says it’s time to put in place a prevention/safety and risk reduction plan to protect your family and property . Last year was the third most active hurricane season on record, with scientists saying this year could be even worse.
“The remnants of Hurricane Ida are still fresh in our memories,” Golden Bridge Fire Chief Dennis Delborgo said. “But even what were previously calm thunderstorms has intensified with devastating winds and torrential rain. Everyone should have a safe game plan because waiting until the last minute, before a storm or hurricane arrives, may be too late.”
“People are surprised to learn about the obvious precautions—things that don’t always come to their mind when under stress, but that should be at the top of everyone’s checklist to help keep your family as safe as possible and to help keep property damage as minimal as possible,” Delborgo added. He noted that the Golden Bridge Fire Department responds to dozens of 9-1-1 storm-related emergency calls each year — from fallen power lines and uprooted trees, to parties crashing into homes.
According to the fire chief, carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the biggest potential hazards during storm events.
“Power outages are inevitable during most major storms because electrical lines and transformers are often above ground in our area. This has led many residents to opt for emergency power generators. If these devices are too close to home—especially when They are also running continuously during a long outage – they pose a risk of carbon monoxide leaking into the home,” explained the Delborgo Fire Chief.
Websites for government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – www.ready.gov – offer precautionary measures that may be useful in starting a prevention/risk reduction and safety checklist in preparation for storm season, according to Fire Chief Delborgo. In addition to the standard recommendations – keep a well-stocked first aid kit, provide bottled water, a fire extinguisher, flashlights with extra batteries.
The Golden’s Bridge Fire chief highlighted some simple tips:
- Keep portable emergency power generators at least 20 feet from home windows and doors to prevent carbon monoxide from escaping indoors.
- Replace expired carbon monoxide detectors – always pay attention to the different sounds of carbon monoxide detectors, whether it is an actual detection warning or an alert to replace batteries.
- Remove trees and dangerous limbs near your home to reduce the possibility of them hitting people and property.
- Stay indoors and away from windows during winds and thunderstorms.
- Keep gutters clear of debris – Debris acts like a dam and can send flowing water into your home and may cause flooding and electrical fires.
- Close table awnings, anchor deck furniture, and patio furniture Unlocked items can become potential projectiles in a gust of wind and cause property damage and bodily injury.
- Keep barbecue gas grills and spare propane tanks away from home—these items can be damaged during high winds.
- Never drive or walk on a flooded road.
- Assume all faulty power lines are working. If you see power lines on the ground, says Fire Chief Delborgo, call 911, and if you lose power, report to NYSEG.
The head of Golden’s Bridge Fire recommended going to the FEMA website for a complete list of prevention and safety precautions.