Modified: November 4, 2019 4:01pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Dan Neaverth, Jr., Deputy DPW Commissioner John Denee, NIITEC Executive Director Athena Hutchins, and AAA of WNY Public Relations Director Elizabeth Carey at the county’s Harlem Road DPW barns to encourage residents to prepare and plan for upcoming winter weather. Rough weather late last week across Western New York brought high wind gusts, plentiful rain and the season’s first accumulation of snow as Erie County officials opened the Emergency Operations Center on Broadway in the Town of Cheektowaga to coordinate response to the weather event.
“The Halloween storm late last week provided reminders of what is to come and serves as a lesson for all of us. Now is the time for residents to get prepared for the next storm, by ensuring that they have a plan for when that weather strikes, have necessary supplies and medicines, and have their vehicles and homes ready as well,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The Ready Erie app is a great way for individuals and families to create and share their plans so that when an emergency strikes, everyone is on the same page. Our departments are constantly preparing and the public should as well.”
The Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services recently joined nine other statewide jurisdictions in achieving NYS Emergency Management Accreditation as a proactive local emergency management agency. Comprised of the Divisions of Disaster Preparedness/Homeland Security, Fire Safety, and Emergency Medical Services, DHS&ES is responsible for providing public safety through emergency management planning, preparedness, training, and coordination of emergency services resources in Erie County.
"We found the detailed review of agency policies and procedures to be extremely helpful,” said Daniel Neaverth, Jr., Commissioner. “The accreditation process allows emergency management agencies the take whatever corrective actions are needed to adapt and adjust in today’s challenging environment. As a County we are better prepared because of this critical review."
In September 2016 Erie County unveiled the free “Ready Erie” app to allow county residents to create a personalized Emergency Preparedness Plan. In addition to completing a Plan, the multi-purpose app allows users to receive critical weather, news, information and emergency alerts through push notifications, locate Erie County’s emergency shelters, and view up-to-date evacuation route maps. Users who create a personalized Emergency Plan are able to store the Plan on their device to share with family and friends. Every individual’s Plan will include an Emergency Supply Kit Checklist tailored to their needs; a Customized Emergency Food Supply Shopping List; an Emergency Communications Plan to notify loved ones of the individual’s status; and information to prepare your home for impending disaster.
Dan Neaverth, Jr., added, “I'm repeatedly asked if there's a single thing citizens can do to prepare and I always respond, have a plan. The ability to develop a step by step emergency plan customized specifically for your family is now just a free download away."
The app can be downloaded from the Erie County website at http://www2.erie.gov/ under the “Online Services” tab. The Ready Erie app is available on all major platforms.
The Department of Public Works Highways’ Division has been augmented with five new dump trucks for 2019, with each highway barn receiving one of the new arrivals. The Department has also updated nearly all pickup trucks at the highway barns prior to winter’s arrival.
In addition to preparing to fight snow, the Department of Public Works is also investing in nearly $400,000 in improvements at county highway barns to improve energy performance. At the Aurora Barn improvements will include LED lighting upgrades interior and exterior, ventilation controls, and building envelope improvements (weather-sealing doors and windows); at the Harlem Barn improvements will include LED lighting upgrades interior and exterior, pipe insulation, and building envelope improvements; upgrades at the Concord Barn include LED lighting upgrades interior/exterior, pipe insulation, building envelope improvements, and hot water controls; improvements at the Hamburg Barn include LED lighting upgrades exterior, pipe Insulation, and building envelope improvements, while
Angola, Collins, South Protection and Tonawanda are scheduled for LED exterior lighting upgrades. Totaling $391,135 in improvements scheduled through the Energy Performance Contract, these improvements will pay for themselves through the energy savings in 13.36 years.
The DPW Highways’ Division is also making use of enhanced technology in combatting winter snows. The use of online mapping tools will allow the Department to include a constantly updated overlay of driving bans by Town or Village in an online format on both the Erie County website and the Ready Erie app. Highway districts will be able to annotate the map to indicate if roads are open (green) restricted (yellow) or closed (red), ensuring that valuable information is being pushed live and in a timely manner to the public.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Public Works, visit http://www2.erie.gov/dpw/
On the Erie County Department of Emergency Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/emergencyservices/
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