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News Release

August 24, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Earthquake Tremors serve as reminder…
Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Poughkeepsie…  Fortunately, yesterday’s earthquake tremors felt throughout Dutchess County caused little damage and had only minor impacts on residents.   However, the tremors show the power of Mother Nature, and with weather forecasters warning about the impacts of Hurricane Irene, it is important for all residents to remember that emergencies can happen at any time and families need to be prepared and ready.    

“Emergencies can last just a few moments or hours, but they can also last several weeks.    They can be man-made disasters or weather-related emergencies such as flooding or ice storms,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “It is important for every family to take time to BE AWARE and BE PREPARED for emergencies, for whenever or however they may occur.”

Dutchess County Government’s website,, has a wide variety of resources available to help families be prepared for emergencies.   There are checklists for family household emergency kits and disaster planning.   There is also a wide range of safety and planning  information for various emergencies including storms and power outages, excessive heat, flooding, hurricanes and “after the storm emergency” information plus much more.

It is important for residents to take basic steps to ensure their families are ready for emergencies.   A storm or other disaster emergency can impact the usual services that are generally taken for granted such as running water, power, refrigeration, telephones, even ATM machines.    According to Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator Dana Smith, “If a large scale disaster should occur, emergency response services may not be able to immediately respond.    It is important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.”

A good rule of thumb is to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days, no matter what the emergency.   Below is a basic emergency checklist for families to use as a guide.    Store items in large, watertight containers that can be easily moved.

Items to keep in your home for emergency use:

  • Water – one gallon per person per day.
  • Food – ready to eat or requiring minimal water
  • Manual can opener
  • Radio – battery operated
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Personal hygiene items – toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, etc.
  • Cash – power outages could impact ATMs.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Copy of important documents and contact phone numbers
  • Medication & medical supplies used on a regular basis – be sure to have a supply to last for several days.
  • Large, heavy duty trash bags.   Garbage service may be disrupted.
  • Pet supplies including food, water and extra litter

For more emergency and disaster planning information, visit and click on Emergency Preparedness under the Quick Links panel on the right side of the page.

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County Executive

County Executive