Shandaken checks residents emergency prep

By Jay Braman Jr.
As the New Year approaches, Shandaken Town Clerk Joyce Grant is helping town residents start off on the right foot.

Soon to arrive in mailboxes is a short survey form that asks townsfolk to consider questions like the following: “How will you get help when the power goes out?”
Calling Shandaken “a technologically challenged community,” Grant said she put together the brief, confidential questionnaire because the results will dramatically improve emergency notification protocol in town.

Grant hopes the survey yields information that will help in four specific ways: to inform citizens of options available for information or help during power outages or a state of emergency, to find out who is at high risk during emergencies, i.e.: elderly, special medical needs, those without landlines.
To find out if these people would like to be checked on during outages by emergency services personnel, to find out what communication resources our residents are using in the town so that we may spread information more efficiently, and to gather volunteers for a “Good Neighbor System” for each hamlet to check on those at risk during extended power outages in case there is no access to that area.

Grant asks that all residents take the time to sit down and ponder what they would do if the power went out. “Do you know where to go in an emergency?” she said. “Will you be warm? Will you be dry? Do you have drinking water?”
The survey questions, there are only 15 of them, are simple yes or no types. Do you have heat source if power goes out? Do you have a potable water source near your home? Are you on medical equipment that requires electricity? Do you have medicine that requires refrigeration?

Other items
Do you have a generator? Would you like to be checked on by emergency personnel during extended power outages? Is your fire number intact on your property and visible from the road?
Can you drive – do you have a vehicle available? Do you have cell phone service? Do you have/use a computer? Do you have access to Channel 23 on Time Warner Cable? If yes, do you watch it for updates on town events and info? Do you have landline phone service through Verizon?

Do you have a phone through Time Warner Cable? If yes, would you like information about the Lifeline Phone, works even if there is a power outage?

Do you have an FM radio? Would you like to volunteer for our “Good Neighbor system” during emergencies?

Grant said that the town has some information that is useful in emergencies, but it is more about structures and their whereabouts.

“It’s really important that we get this information,” she said. “We already have information about
property, now we want to know about people.”