Tens of thousands of residents in New York and New Jersey have again lost power as a winter storm hit areas still recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact.
Some people were again forced to leave their homes and public transport was affected.
Winds gusted at up to 60 mph (100 km/h) bringing down trees and power lines.
New Jersey state governor Chris Christie said: “I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next.”
Power companies in the two states report more than 100,000 customers suffered power outages. Some 650,000 buildings were already without power one week after storm Sandy struck, killing more than 100 people.
But the damage from the latest storm, a northeaster, was less than had been feared.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said low-lying areas had not been flooded at high tide on Wednesday afternoon.
But Michael Bloomberg said he was still concerned about the security of those areas where flood defences had not yet been repaired.
Tens of thousands of residents in New York and New Jersey have again lost power as a winter storm hit areas still recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact
He had closed parks and beaches and temporarily halted outdoor construction.
But he said there was no need for mandatory evacuations because the storm was not expected to be as strong as hurricane Sandy.
Long Island resident Rudi Schlachter, who was forced to move her family to the upper floors of their home due to severe flooding last week, said she was evacuating the area altogether now.
“All you need is a gale of wind driving a piece of wood into somebody’s window,” she said.
“We’re leaving; I don’t want my kids to see the water again.”
President Barack Obama spoke to the governor of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, with the discussions focused on the continuing fuel shortages in the region.
Major airlines cancelled flights in and out of New York and New Jersey ahead of the storm.
So far 95,000 people have registered for emergency housing assistance in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, according to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It added that it was ready to deploy additional resources if needed.
Barack Obama administration has bought up 22 million gallons of gas to help get residents of some of the areas worst affected by Hurricane Sandy back on the road.
The administration has purchased up to 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel that will be distributed in New York and New Jersey to supplement private sector efforts.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Friday that President Barack Obama had directed the Defense Logistics Agency to handle the purchase of the fuel.
The gas will be transported by tanker trucks and distributed throughout the two states and other communities impacted by the storm.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the fuel purchase is part of efforts by governments, private organizations and others to help the region recover from Superstorm Sandy, which left residents queuing at gas stations for a diminishing supply of fuel.
This purchase is in addition to an emergency diesel fuel loan from the Energy Department’s Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.
Obama administration has bought up 22 million gallons of gas to help get residents of some of the areas worst affected by Hurricane Sandy back on the road
Large parts of the tri-state area were left without power for five days after the storm struck and fuel shortages have become even more dire, prompting some opportunist convenience store owners to charge as much as $6 a gallon.
Becoming ever more desperate for fuel, residents have been bickering over their place in the queue at gas stations and even brandishing firearms to get what they need.
Along the New Jersey turnpike cars have lined up for miles in the hope of getting fuel, but gas stations in many outer-borough areas are sealed off with yellow tape.
Meanwhile, in the New York borough of Queens, customers are hanging on every rumor – will the next delivery arrive in two hours? Or five hours? Or six?
In one extreme case, motorist Sean Bailey was arrested on charges of menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Preparing for hurricane season means more than just making a disaster kit and reviewing your family‘s disaster plan, although those are critical first steps.
There’s much more you can do to protect your home and your family before a hurricane hits. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration recommends you take the following additional steps to prepare for hurricane season.
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
FAMILY SUPPLY LIST
Ready Kids & The Federal Emergency Management Agency present:
Family Supply List
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
– Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
– Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
– Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– First Aid kit
– Whistle to signal for help
– Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
– Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
– Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
– Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
– Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
– Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency
Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
– A jacket or coat
– Long pants
– A long sleeve shirt
– Sturdy shoes
– A hat and gloves
– A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Family Supply List (continued)
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
– Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov
– Rain gear
– Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
– Cash or traveler’s checks, change
– Paper towels
– Fire Extinguisher
– Matches in a waterproof container*
– Signal flare*
– Paper, pencil
– Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
– Household chlorine bleach* – You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
– Medicine dropper
– Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued the following safety tips on how to cope with a hurricane.
Before a Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
• To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
• Know your surroundings.
• Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
• Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
• Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
• Make plans to secure your property:
• Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
• Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
• Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
• Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
• Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
• Determine how and where to secure your boat.
• Install a generator for emergencies.
• If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
• Consider building a safe room.
Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site,www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.
During a Hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
• Listen to the radio or TV for information.
• Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
• Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
• Turn off propane tanks
• Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
• Moor your boat if time permits.
• Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
• Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
• If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.
Read more about evacuating yourself and your family. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
• Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
• Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
• Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
• Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
• Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
• Avoid elevators.
After a Hurricane
• Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
• Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
• If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact FEMA or the American Red Cross.
• FEMA has established the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which has been developed to help reunite families who are separated during a disaster. The NEFRLS system will enable displaced individuals the ability to enter personal information into a website database so that they can be located by others during a disaster.
• The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.
• If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
• If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
• For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Apply for assistance or search for information about housing rental resources
• Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬ out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
• Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
• Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
• Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
• Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
• Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
• Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
• Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
• Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
• Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
• Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
• NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.