POUND RIDGE, N.Y. As Hurricane Irene makes its inexorable crawl up the eastern seaboard, Billy Fortin, owner of Scotts Corner Market, is taking no chances. He is making sure the store is well-stocked just in case the hurricane does its worse.
I think that tells the story right there, Fortin said, pointing to a display that was being set up on Thursday afternoon. Thats kind of Hurricane Central right there. We have flashlights, bottled water and well bring in some firewood, too.
The supermarket will stock enough for three days worth of supplies.
People are paranoid, he said. But well be ready we have great people working here.
The store owner noted that there was an increase in shoppers on Wednesday, which is when senior citizens can get a 10 percent discount.
We definitely had more than usual, Fortin said. He added that he will increase his staff over the weekend to handle potentially bigger crowds as Irene arrives.
We never really close, he said. Sometimes someone is here all night.
Meanwhile, Jim Perry, director of Pound Ridges office of emergency management, spent Thursday morning on a conference call with the Westchester County Office of Emergency Management. He said the town is well prepared to take on Irene.
We have spoken with all our emergency services to be ready, he said. Zero hour is supposed to be 5 a.m. on Sunday. Our primary concern is street closures and power loss.
Perry said the towns highway and maintenance departments are all on notice and that theyve made sure their chainsaws have been sharpened and all back-up generators are serviced and gassed up.
The Town House, the police station, fire department and ambulance corps all have back-up generators that will need attention.
The highway department will be very busy getting ready, he said.
Perry said the emergency service staff has met to see who will be available over the weekend and the building department has taken an inventory of all the towns construction sites to make sure that everything is battened down to keep wood and debris from becoming airborne.
This could end up being much ado about nothing, he said. Im not super worried about it just yet, but we are monitoring it.
Emergency officials recommend that citizens take precautions just in case. They advocate putting together a family emergency kit bag that includes: 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.
A list of emergency phone numbers and websites include:
Police/Fire EMS Emergency: 911
New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG): 800-572-1131
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
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