A hurricane WATCH means that hurricane conditions MAY threaten an area within 24-36 hours. When a hurricane WATCH is issued, everyone in that area should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act promptly.
The Emergency Management Division urges residents in Dutchess County to take the following actions:
- Listen frequently to local radio, television or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for official bulletins on the storm’s progress.
- Fuel and service family vehicles. After the storm has passed, service stations may be unable to pump fuel because of flooding or loss of electrical service.
- Moor any boats securely or move to safe shelter.
- Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs.
- Tape, board or shutter all window and door openings. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent lifting from their tracks.
- Check for batteries, flashlights and battery-operated radios.
- Check on your supply of canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
- Secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Have on hand an extra supply of cash.
A hurricane WARNING is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles an hour (64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides and waves.
The Dutchess County Emergency Management Division urges residents in Dutchess County to take these actions as soon as possible:
- Continue listening to local radio, television or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for official bulletins on the storm’s progress.
- Complete preparation activities such as putting up storm shutters, storing loose objects, etc. Move valuables to upper floors.
- Store drinking water in clean jugs, bottles and cooking utensils. Your town’s water system could become contaminated or damaged by the storm.
- Check your battery powered equipment. Your radio may be your only link with the outside world. Emergency cooking facilities and flashlights will be essential if utility services are interrupted.
- Follow instructions issued by local authorities. Leave IMMEDIATELY if told to do so.
- Leave low lying areas that may be swept by high tides or storm waves.
- If you plan to leave your home, leave early (if possible, in daylight) to avoid the last-minute rush that could leave you stranded. Stay with friends or relatives, at a low-rise inland hotel/motel, or go to a predesignated public shelter outside a flood zone.
- In any case, leave mobile homes for more substantial shelter.
- Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
- Put food and water out for a pet if you cannot take it with you. Public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters, nor do most hotels/motels allow them.
Weathering the Storm
- If you are traveling, find safe shelter immediately.
- If you are at home or at work:
- If you have been ordered to evacuate, do so. If not, stay put in a well constructed building.
- Continue to listen to local radio, television reports or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for latest information on the storm’s progress and for bulletins from emergency officials.
- 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 small appliances.
- Fill large containers with water.
- If winds become strong:
- Stay away from windows and doors even if they are covered. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway.
- Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
- If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room, such as a bathroom or closet.
- If you are in a multiple-story building and away from the water, go to the first or second floors and take refuge in the halls or other interior rooms away from the windows.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Remain indoors during a hurricane or coastal storm.
- Don’t be fooled by the “eye” or the lull that occurs as the storm center moves overhead. The other side of the hurricane “eye” has winds that will rapidly increase and will come from the opposite direction.