Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

August 28, 2020
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - September is both National Preparedness Month and Hurricane Preparedness Month. Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert urge residents to take action and get ready! Take time now to put together an emergency supply kit, learn your evacuation zone, and make and practice a family emergency plan for how you will contact family members and what you will do in different situations.

After an emergency, such as a hurricane, help will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. Being well prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.

"We saw with Tropical Storm Isaias what can happen when severe weather hits," said County Executive Ed Day. "Whether you are out of power and without other utility services for minutes, hours or days we all need to prepare for the worst."

"Now is a good time to review, update, or begin your personal and home emergency preparedness plans," said Dr. Ruppert. Here are four steps you can take to help prepare yourself and your family for an emergency:

  1. Put together an emergency supply kit. There are some basic items that everyone needs:
    • One gallon of water per person, per day and food for you and your family for at least three days. Use food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked, such as peanut butter and ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables.
    • Special supplies you and your family need, such as: Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream; at least three day's supply of medicines or medical treatments; important documents; a copy of prescriptions, dosage and treatment information; non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives; copies of insurance cards, and information on equipment or life-saving devices you use; eyeglasses and contact lens solution; hearing aids and batteries; wheelchair batteries; and oxygen.
    • Supplies for your pet, such as pet food, water, medicines, and any special supplies your pet may need.
    • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, and first aid kit.
    • Since Spring of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other viruses: cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces. For more information on how to build a complete emergency kit, visit
    • NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio or sign up for the NY-ALERT system by visiting to receive emergency weather alerts and other emergency warnings and information sent directly to your e-mail or cell phone.
  2. Make a family emergency plan:
    • Your family may not be together when an emergency strikes, so plan ahead.
    • Learn your evacuation zone and make and practice a family emergency plan for how you will contact family members and what you will do in different situations.
  3. Personal Safety:
    • Plan to stay with family if possible. If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.
    • Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.
    • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter [by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups] as much as possible.
    • Anyone over two years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.
    • Only use portable generators outdoors and away from windows.
  4. Be informed: 
    • During an emergency, information will be available on the radio, TV, and newspapers and online at the Rockland County website, Facebook, and Twitter These websites can all be accessed on your smartphone even if you lose electricity. In addition, notifications will be sent via the NY-ALERT system once you register to receive e-mails or text messages.

Rockland County has developed a Special Needs Registry for residents with limited mobility or special needs, which might impact a timely response during an emergency. This registry serves as a database of our most vulnerable residents and is not a guarantee of receiving services. It is important that caretakers consider the unique needs of these residents when creating their emergency response plan. If you believe you, or someone you care for, is unable to act upon emergency protective orders independently, please register at

For more information about how to prepare for emergencies, visit the Rockland County Health Department's webpage at and or call 845-364-2660. For hurricane preparedness information, visit