FULTON, NY – The 23rd annual Severe Hazards Awareness Week will be observed in Oswego County and throughout New York State May 1 through 7.
As part of its educational campaign, Oswego County Emergency Management Director Patricia Egan reminds local residents of the precautions they should take when hazardous weather conditions are predicted.
Hazardous weather can occur at any time, Egan said.
“Thunderstorms, windstorms, tornadoes, and flooding carry the potential of threatening public safety and property and disrupting normal activities,” she noted.
The county office works closely with New York State, the National Weather Service, and the local public safety community to improve the county’s readiness to respond to potentially dangerous weather situations.
The County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services oversees the emergency management office and other public safety agencies.
As part of the statewide hazardous weather week, the National Weather Service will issue test-warning messages for hazardous weather threats that develop rapidly on May 5, at approximately 1:15 p.m.
The test is being conducted in partnership with the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission.
The National Weather Service Buffalo forecast office will issue the test message for Oswego County.
“In September 2007 Oswego County was recertified as a StormReady County by the National Weather Service. The designation recognizes the multiple hazardous weather warning systems and preparedness levels in place throughout the county,” said Legislator Linda Lockwood, District 11, chairperson of the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee.
Committee members encourage all local residents to prepare themselves by learning what to do when hazardous weather strikes, and by putting together a Family Disaster Kit with emergency supplies.
In addition to Legislator Lockwood, the committee includes vice chairperson Margaret Kastler, District 1; Shawn Doyle, District 3; Mary Flett, District 17; Kevin Gardner, District 13; John Martino, District 6; and Amy Tresidder, District 16.
“The statewide drill gives public safety and preparedness officials, the broadcast media, schools, and all New Yorkers the opportunity to test plans for responding to a weather emergency,” said Egan. “We encourage Oswego County schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities that have tone-alert weather radios issued by our office to participate by logging their receipt of the test messages and reviewing their hazardous weather plans.”
To help local residents become prepared for hazardous weather emergencies, the Oswego County Emergency Management Office offers a number of brochures on winter storms, thunderstorms and tornadoes, flooding preparedness, and general family disaster planning.
Copies are available by calling the Emergency Management Office at 315-591-9150.
The information is also posted on the Oswego County website, www.oswegocounty.com/emo