Utica, NY (WIBX) - Although Governor Andrew Cuomo only declared a state of emergency for parts of NYS, Utica police are passing along flood precautions for area residents, in case the bad weather associated with Hurricane Irene, makes its way to Central New York. Some of the warnings are to stay updated with news about the hurricane. Be aware of flash flooding and in case of evacuation orders, make sure to turn off your utilities at the main switches or valves. Although the National Weather Channel predicts that the Category II Hurricane will not severely impact Oneida County, officials say residents should be aware of the weather pattern, in case it changes.


UPD Safety Tips:

During a Flood

If a flood is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:

  • Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

Driving Flood Facts:

The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.

UPD officials say the safety information was gathered from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The American Kennel Club, (AKC) provided the following tips to prepare pets for Hurricane Irene:

At home:

  • Keep the following items handy: your pet’s health records and medications, food and water bowls, food for one week, at least one gallon of spring water per day per large dog, a portable kennel/crate, pet bedding, and a leash.

If evacuating:

  • In case of evacuation, don’t leave your pet at home. Most evacuations last only a few days, but there are times that you may not be able to return to your home quickly. The safest place for your pets is with you. Be prepared to take your pets with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy crate or carrier ready for transporting. Since Hurricane Katrina, the federal PETS Act now mandates that pets can be evacuated with their owners.
  • Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. AKC CAR also recommends a permanent identification, such as a microchip, along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. Make sure to keep your contact information current with the pet recovery service. Pack a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more about microchips.
  • If you plan to go to a hotel, call ahead to make sure your animals are welcome. Most hotels relax their pet policies during times of crises, but do not assume that will happen. Information concerning hotel pet-friendly policies is typically found on their website.
  • Keep copies of your dog license, vaccination documents, health records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container. Also include a picture you and your pet together in the case you become separated during an emergency.

For additional AKC tips on how to prepare your pets for emergencies visit, http://www.akc.org/news/disaster_preparedness/.

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