A memo to the township from Abington Police Chief Kelly:
As you know, the Abington Township Emergency Management Team has been preparing for this potential disaster since last Thursday, and worked throughout the entire weekend. As a result, additional personnel are scheduled and ready to respond, and needed equipment is prepared and ready.
Effective 8 a.m. today, the Abington Township Declaration of Emergency is in effect and the Abington E.O.C. (Emergency Operations Center) is open and fully staffed. Additional Police, Fire, EMS, Public Works, and Sewer Department personnel are on duty or scheduled for duty to insure 24-hour response capability.
As always, citizens needing direct response by Police, Fire, or EMS should call 9-1-1
For all questions or for non-emergency requests, citizens should call: 267-536-1000 the Township Building phone number. That phone number will continue to be staffed 24 hours a day, and will continue to be covered this way until the storm has subsided. Please call 9-1-1 if you see dangerous conditions.
The Red Cross has designated Cheltenham High School (500 Rices Mill Road, Wyncote) as its “shelter” for citizens and their pets that are being displaced from their homes by the storm. Citizens requiring special assistance (oxygen, non-ambulatory, etc.) that need to evacuate their homes due to water, damage or an extended disruption of power, should contact the Township number and arrangements will be made.
PROPERTY FLOODING OR DAMAGE
Citizens suffering damage or flooding should also contact the Township number. The Township will send out professionally-trained inspectors to determine if the situation is safe and to document the damage. This documentation could be valuable for the home owner and the Township to recoup some of their expenses through disaster relief funding through FEMA, etc.
REMEMBER: significant flooding into areas with gas or electric appliances (water heaters, clothes dryers, etc) can cause a hazardous condition. If it appears to be dangerous, call 9-1- 1 Otherwise, citizens should call the Township number so that an expert can be sent out to evaluate the situation.
The staff person who comes to the scene will also evaluate whether pumping the water out of the basement is possible and practical at that time. However:
1. Pumping ability will be limited due to personnel assigned to emergency response, etc. 2. Pumping will normally not be done while water is still coming in. 3. Pumping will normally not be done unless the water can be pumped outside (not into
sinks, etc.) because it is illegal to pump storm water from the basement into the sanitary sewer, either through a laundry sink or through a direct connection to the sewer.
4. Pumping will not be done if structural damage could result.
The greatest hazards to safety in Abington homes during this storm are:
- Falling trees and wind propelled objects
- Fallen power lines
- Water inundation of gas or electric appliances
The greatest hazards to safety on Abington Streets during this storm are:
- Swift running water
- Driving into pooled water
- Downed Power lines
- Falling trees and wind-propelled objects
Please stay inside if possible.
THE FOLLOWING WAS SENT BY PECO
PECO activated its emergency response organization last Thursday and is fully prepared to respond to Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring extreme weather with drenching rains and sustained high winds.
We have mobilized more than 3,000 employees, contractors and out-of-state field crews to ensure that we are well-prepared to respond to the devastating effects of this potentially record-breaking storm. This includes more than 2,000 field personnel (including both PECO, out-of-state and tree trimming crews) who are ready to repair storm damage and restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible. Out-of-state crews have come from as far away as Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi and include our sister utility ComEd in Chicago.
We are asking our crews and contractors to stay safe, especially given that we will be experiencing high winds exceeding 40 m.p.h.
Storms of this magnitude typically result in multi-day restorations. Depending on the severity of this storm, there is the potential that we may not be able to provide estimated restoration times until we are able to more fully assess the damage to our system.
Customers should also prepare for possible storm damage:
- Keep PECO's emergency telephone number (1-800-841-4141) handy.
- Sign up for an online account with PECO and access www.peco.com from your mobile device to report outages and check system status.
- Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home.
- Have a battery powered clock and radio available.
If an outage occurs:
- Customers without power should contact the company at 1-800-841- 4141. The more customers who call to report an outage, the more effectively PECO can dispatch crews and restore service. The company's automated telephone system can quickly record your outage, allowing our Customer Care representatives to remain available to handle reports of dangerous situations.
- Stay away from downed wires, damaged electric equipment, and tree limbs and branches contacting electrical equipment. Always assume PECO's equipment is energized – even if there is an outage in your neighborhood. Report these dangerous conditions to PECO immediately.
- Turn off and unplug appliances and other devices to prevent possible damage. Remember to keep one light on so you know when service has been restored.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Move meats, cheese, milk, etc. into the freezer to stay colder longer. A partially full freezer can keep food frozen for up to 24 hours, and up to 48 hours when full.
- Customers with generators should never connect them directly to home wiring or plug them into household outlets. Generators connected to home wiring can 'back feed' into PECO's electric delivery system, risking serious injury or death to PECO crews. Generators should always be placed outside to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Abington Emergency Management Program Background
The Abington Township Emergency Management program has been in existence in its current form for over twenty years. The program has been recognized locally, at the State level, and internationally. In addition, the Abington EMAP (Emergency Management And Planning) program is a recipient of the prestigious “Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.” The Abington Township Emergency Management Program prides itself on its preparation for the likely hazards facing our citizens, as well as its success at recouping emergency response costs that otherwise would be taken from Abington tax dollars.
The Abington Township Emergency Management Program is lead by an Emergency Management Coordinator, several Deputy Coordinators and the Emergency Management Administrator, and the EMAP Council which includes Police, Fire, EMS, Hazmat, etc.:
Emergency Management Coordinator First Deputy Coordinator Deputy Coordinators:
(Interim) EMAP Administrator
The EMAP Council consists of:
Abington Police Department, Abington Fire Company, McKinley Fire Company, Weldon Fire Company,
Edge Hill Fire Company, Roslyn Fire Company, Second Alarmers Rescue Squad, Hazmat Team 919
Abington Public Works Department, Abington Code Enforcement Department, Abington Memorial Hospital Holy Redeemer Health System.
Chief William Kelly Deputy Chief John Livingood
Lt. Thomas McNamara Fire Marshal Ken Clark Sgt. Thomas Scott Lt. McNamara.