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Somers Residents Prepare For Hurricane Irene

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Terri Sachs set up a table at the Somerstown Shopping Center on Thursday to distribute information about handling emergency situations. Sachs is a volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT). “When I was a Pan Am flight attendant,” she said, “I learned the importance of safety and service. I realized how many people rely on just a few during an emergency. It’s not fair to first responders.”

Sachs handed out leaflets from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security covering a variety of subjects, such as preparing your pets for emergencies and what to do if you are disabled. She explained how to assemble an emergency kit for yourself -- or your dog. She stressed “it is important for each individual to know what to do.”

Somers resident Rosalie Cicogna, who was passing by, said, “I used to live in Japan. I would wake up every day and have to straighten the pictures. I was there for Hurricane Andrew. So I keep everything charged up. I bought emergency lights at Home Depot. You plug them into the wall and they charge up. Then they work like flashlights.”

Roy Pepino said he has an emergency generator at home. “I got gas for the car, and canned goods and batteries. I have a propane barbecue and a wood-burning stove. There’s nothing like a hurricane to get you prepared.”

Pepino is a member of At Home in Somers , a grass roots organization that assists elderly people by providing transportation, volunteer services, home safety checks and more. The purpose is to help people to live in their own homes, independently, comfortably, and safely, as they age.

On The Daily Somers Facebook page, Ruth Reese wrote, “When we lived in Florida we went thru 3 hurricanes. We filled our bathtub with water which I used to flush our toilets! Some people added a few drops of bleach to the water and used it to drink. I stocked up on canned food like tuna, lots of bottled water, batteries, flashlights, candles, had a battery run radio, and ICE! Also, tried to cook as much of the food I had in the freezer so I did not have to throw it all out once it defrosted!" She added, "don't forget the wine, you will need it to calm your nerves!"

Terri Sachs of CERT plans to return to the shopping center on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to distribute more literature and talk to people.

The severity of the storm in Somers will depend on Irene's exact path and intensity, which remain uncertain at this time.

Check back for updates.

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