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OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2013

ELMA / WEST SENECA SERVING THE COMMUNITY SINCE 2006

ELMA

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2013

PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR FALL & WINTER

Edward R. Sauer Emergency Manager (716) 652-7635 oem@elmanewyork.com MEETINGS - 7:00 PM 2nd Wednesday of the Month • October 9th • November 13th • Debember 11th Training and meetings are held at the Elma Senior Center unless noted. Elma Senior Center 3007 Bowen Rd. Elma, NY 14059

* Town Hall 1600 Bowen Rd. Elma, NY 14059

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES • Zombie Preparedness Fair Check here for updates www.elmanewyork.com/oem/ECert.htm

WEST SENECA John Gullo Emergency Manager (716) 558-3238 jgullo@twsny.org MEETINGS - 7:00 PM 3rd Monday of the month • October 21st • November 18th • December 16th Unless noted Training and Meetings are Held :

Vigilant Fire Hall 666 Main Street West Seneca, NY ACTIVITIES • Zombie Preparedness Fair Check here for updates www.wscert.net

With summer ended now is the time to prepare your home for the cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions to come. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall. Many people prefer to remain indoors in the cold weather, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months. • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls. If you have outdoor faucets make sure they are drained to prevent freezing. • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks. • Check your heating systems. - Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside. Also check to make sure the damper can be tightly closed to prevent drafts. • Do a check to make sure your heating vents are nod covered by furniture, carpeting or curtains. • Check your home for drafts around window and doors for cracks. Sealing them will help you stay warm and save money on energy and heating bills. • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys

• Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly. • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available. • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies. - Install a CO detector. Check batteries regularly. Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation. Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911. • If you have removable window air conditioners, be sure to unplug them before taking down. Dust and clean them before storing them for the season. Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages (see article on page 2). • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers. • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including: Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a Weather Radio, and lamps; extra batteries; first-aid kit and extra medicine; baby items; and cat litter or sand for icy walkways. Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.


OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2013

POWER OUTAGES

and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill most organisms.

Power outages can range from 30 seconds to days. Do you know what to do in the event of a power outage in our area? Downed Power Lines If you find a power line is down stay away Turn items off from it and let the utility company or emerMake sure to turn off electrical items. gency services know if you can. When power comes back on, most devic• Consider all wires to be dangerous. es demand a surge of power for start-up Wires that are de-energized may and every appliance, tool or gadget can become energized at any time. taxes the electrical infrastructure again. Power surges can damage equipment • Stay at least 30 feet way from the and appliances. Purchasing and installing wire. surge protectors help suppress voltage • Electricity can go through tree limbs. fluctuations. Never touch or remove items that are Food touching or near a downed wire. If the power is out for less than 4 hours, • Never use any object to move a then the food in your refrigerator and downed wire. freezer will be safe to consume. While If someone makes contact with a downed the power is out, keep the refrigerator and power line, do not try to rescue them befreezer doors closed as much as possible. cause you risk becoming a victim yourself. • For the Freezer section: A freezer Call 911 that is half full will hold food safely for Generators up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open Many residents may have generators to use in the case of emergencies. Pre-planthe freezer door if you can avoid it. ning and practice runs can prevent injuries • For the Refrigerated section: Pack or death. Here are some tips milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, • Never plug a generator into a wall eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers outlet as serious injury can result into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexwhen the current produced by the pensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for home generator is fed back into the this purpose. electrical lines, and transformed to a • Use a food thermometer to check the higher voltage. temperature of your food right before • Follow the manufacturer’s instrucyou cook or eat it. Throw away any tions. food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. • Ensure that the generator operates

Water In an outage the water filtration systems may not work correctly or you may not have access to water at all. Here are some water tips

outdoors in well-ventilated conditions, well away from doors or windows, to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house. • Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly rated, CSA-approved cords.

• Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula. If possible, use baby formula that does not need to have water added.

Lighting

• If you use bottled water, be sure it came from a safe source. If you do not know where the water came from boil or treat it before use. Use only bottled, boiled, or treated water until your supply is tested and found safe.

If you choose candles place them on a solid, stable and noncombustible surface. Never leave a candle unattended.

• Boiling water, when practical, is the preferred way to kill harmful bacteria

Set all light switches off except for one. Leaving one light on will let you know when the power comes back on.

If you have pets keep an eye on them. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher handy.


OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2013

FALL FIRE SAFETY TIPS

a closet.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms may allow you and your family sufficient time to reach safety by providing early warning in the event of a fire. Many people have neglected to install smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms despite their life-saving potential and low cost. Even those who do have these alarms forget that they need some maintenance attention to continue working properly. We offer the following tips for keeping your home and family safe this heating season:

Certain individuals, including children, elderly people and those with special needs, may not wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm. You should be aware of this when developing your home fire escape plan.

Safety in numbers - Install at least one smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm on each floor of the house or residence and outside all sleeping areas. Additionally, West Seneca building and fire codes require all new homes to have interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up in the same areas. Smoke alarm maintenance - Working smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms are needed in every home and residence. Test and maintain your alarms at least once a month unless otherwise noted by manufacturer instructions. These detectors fail most often because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries. Replace the batteries at least once a year or whenever the alarm “chirps” indicating the battery is getting low. One safety tip would be schedule battery replacements for the same day you change your clocks from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time in the fall. The recommendation of the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires residential smoke alarms to be replaced every 10 years. Fire escape plan - In addition to installing smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms in your home, we also recommend that you develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with all members of your household. In the event of a fire, every family member should know at least two ways out of each room. Stay as close to the floor as possible during your escape as hot air, toxic gases and smoke rise to the ceiling and the air nearest the floor will be safer to breathe. If you encounter a closed door during your escape, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot to the touch, use another exit. The heat could indicate fire on the other side of the door. Teach your children how to escape in case of a fire and not to hide under a bed or in

family and property, your neighbors and buyers of your property. If you’re having a contractor do your work, the contractor can obtain the necessary permits, but you should check to make sure the contractor has done so. Listed units either solid fuel or gas fired require permits. One of the things you should consider in choosing a heating device is that it has been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (UL). These units will have been tested under extreme conditions and are approved for installation with specifications for distances these units can be placed from combustible materials. Have a safe fall season.

Designate a well-lit place that is a safe distance away from your home such as a tree, street light or mailbox, where everyone will meet in the event of a fire. This will help firefighters determine if anyone else is still inside the home. Never return to a burning building for any reason. As soon as possible, call the fire department by dialing 911 and be prepared to clearly state your name and the exact address of the fire. Stay on the line to answer further STRESS questions the emergency operator will Signs and symptoms of stress are screamask. ing at us, but are we listening? Fireplaces - A fireplace or wood burning Definition of stress: A physical or emostove that is properly installed and caretional element that causes bodily or menfully maintained can provide the warmth tal tension and may be a factor in disease and comfort you need in winter. Wood causation. Do you think you’re stressed? burning stoves also provide the perfect What about your coworkers? Your answer heating alternative when there is a power is probably, “Not me. Other people are, but outage. However, there are several imporI can deal with my stress.” We consider tant safety factors to consider when you ourselves invincible and strong. Officers use your wood burning stove. The best watch out for their crews, but who is lookmaterial to burn in a wood burning stove ing out for them? As emergency service is dry wood that has been seasoned for at personnel we need to take a hard, honest least 6 months. This type of wood burns look at ourselves and see if we have any quicker and brighter, thereby reducing the of these signs and symptoms of stress: formation of creosote. Creosote is a high• General irritability or depression; ly inflammable by product of incomplete combustion of firewood, which usually • Impulsive behavior or emotional forms in the chimney and can increase the instability; likelihood of fire. Burning unseasoned or • Insomnia and restlessness; and wet wood greatly increases creosote formation and must be avoided. Burning pa• Drug and alcohol abuse. per or trash in the wood burning stove may • If you have any of these signs and seem like a quick way to light a fire. Howsymptoms, there are many control ever, this practice is dangerous because techniques that you can try to help these substances are highly combustible you resolve or cope with your stress: and may emanate toxic gases. Environment and mind: After a fire has died out, collect the ash• Reduce external sources of stress, es in a metal container. You can wet the ashes to subdue any remaining embers. • Talk about your issues by finding a Dispose of the ashes outdoors, away from confidant, structures, trees and plants. • Have a positive attitude and find your For those who have a wood stove or fire“happy place”; and place they should be cleaned regularly along with the chimney. The buildup of any Body: creosote gives the potential of a fire to oc• Exercise, Rest, and Proper diet. cur. Studies show that in the emergency serPermits - Safety is the primary reason vices, heart attack, cancer, and stroke are for requiring permits. Inspectors check the most common causes of death. Can to make sure construction and installa- the root of these illnesses be caused by tions are proper for the protection of your stress and is stress our number one killer?


OCTOBER - NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2013

UPCOMING TRAINING & EVENTS CALENDAR

ELMA CERT HOLDS OUTDOOR TRAINING

October

The Elma CERT group conducted an outdoor survival training exercise during September behind the Elma Town Hall. The event tested the group’s knowledge and skills in a very rainy situation.

19 SMART - CDMS Traiing www.health. state.ny.us/gotoclinic 19 HAM Radio Test in Erie PA 23 SMART - CDMS Traiing www.health. state.ny.us/gotoclinic 24 Technology & Homeland Security Forum - Seneca Niagara Casino www.niagaracounty.com/Forum.aspx 27 HAM Radio Test in Geneseo November 5

SMART Membership Meeting

13 SMART Health / Membership 13 CERT Mixer - see right 16 SMART Health / Membership December 4

Pet Preparedness and First Aid

7

Pet Preparedness and First Aid

Participants built debris shelters out of sticks collected and leaves, practiced building a fire without the use of a lighter by using sticks or flint and steel. Once the fire was built they cooked a meal of fish and foraged foods. Members also practiced other skills such as tying knots and recognizing safe plants.

ELMA CERT TO HOST AREA GET TOGETHER Area CERT groups from Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Grand Island, Tonawanda, West Seneca and Elma will be meeting at the Elma Senior Center on Wednesday, November 13th at 7:00 pm.

Anone interested in training provided by SMART must pre-register. SMART’s website is: www2.erie.gov/smart. Some trainings may have prerequisites.

Groups will share information on training practices, meetings, events and ideas. The Elma CERT group will be hosting the event in November and is asking for members to bring a snack type dish to pass.

For more information on HAM Radio classes visit South Towns Amateur Radio Society online at: http://stars.thefruths.com

If you are a local CERT member and are interested in attending this event email us at cert@elmanewyork.com.

FALL 2013 CERT CLASS The fall 2013 CERT class held on Tuesday and Thursday evening recently completed. The class was held at Vigilant Fire Hall in West Seneca. Congratulations to the 14 individuals pictured left on completing the course. These individuals may join any one of the local CERT groups within the area.

ELMA CODE RED NOTIFICATION

WEST SENECA NIXLE NOTIFICATION

In Elma sign-up for Code Red to be notified by your local emergency response team in the event of emergency situations or critical community alerts. Signup for Code Red by visiting the town website at: www.elmanewyork.com

Sign up for emergency and non-emergency alerts for up-to-date information during an incident or anytime from the office of Disaster Preparedness. Nixle will provide the same EAS message to every one who signs up. To register visit www.nixle.com


2013 - 4th QTR Elma West Seneca CERT Newsletter