Cleveland Emergency Management: Expect high winds, prepare for power outages

Good time to create safety kit, emergency plan

CLEVELAND - Cleveland's Office of Emergency Management is asking northeast Ohio residents to be prepared for high winds, standing water and scattered power outages, as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy roll into the region.

Safety leaders with the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the National Weather Service met to discuss emergency plans in the event of flooding, blackouts and heavy wind damage.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department is urging motorists to slow down, keep a greater distance between vehicles and avoid standing water.

"Be smart about what's going on. Don't drive through standing water, just 6 inches could stall-out your vehicle," said public information officer John O'Brien. "The water level on the lake is going to rise 2 to 3 feet, waves as high as 20 feet, so stay away from the water."

"I don't think we have to scare people. We know there's going to be high winds, but we've been through this before. Be smart about it and we're going to be OK."

Cleveland's Emergency Management Office said it believes this weather system is a good opportunity to create safety kit and a family emergency plan.

"I have an emergency kit in my home and in my car," said Emergency Management Director of Communications, Erica Creech. "Make sure you have food, water, batteries, flash lights and a battery operated radio. It's important you pack anything you'd need if there was an extended power outage."

Creech referred residents to www.ready.gov to help them set up their safety kit and family safety plan.

"The website has checklists for emergency supply kits and  they have checklists for emergency plans for your family," said Creech. "There's information for children and for pets, it's a great place to go, and they break it down by specific categories."

Cleveland's Emergency Management Office said it expects the worst of the storm to role through northeast Ohio Tuesday afternoon.

"It will be a little bit scary as far as the wind," said O'Brien. "But the east coast will be far worse off."

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