PELHAM, N.Y. – In response to findings made by the Pelham Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, state Sen. Jeff Klein recently announced the creation a database of local vulnerable residents for use during extreme weather.
"I want to urge all residents to get the word out about our Vulnerable Resident Database,” Police Chief Joseph Benefico said in a news release. Initial database sign-up sheets with instructions will be mailed within the next few weeks by Klein’s office.
The task force sent legislative recommendations to the state Moreland Commission that included improving storm preparedness, infrastructure maintenance and moving electrical wires underground. The commission was created in November to recommend legislative action to address storm response and preparedness by New York power utilities.
“Working together with local leaders, law enforcement and residents of Pelham, we have outlined ways to reduce emergency response time and protect the most vulnerable in our community,” Klein said in a statement, adding that he hoped the database model would be adopted in communities across the state.
Town Supervisor Peter DiPaola said the database is important to ensure that vulnerable members of the community are out of harm’s way during storms and other emergencies, by providing law enforcement with all the proper information.
In addition to the database initiative, Klein also proposed a live wire bill (S.3783) that would require Consolidated Edison and other utility companies to shut off electrical current traveling through downed wires, within 24 hours of receiving notice of an incident.
“My chief priority is the safety of residents in Pelham, and I believe that these initiatives do exactly that,” Mayor Ed Hotchkiss said in a news release. “The live wires bill will limit dangerous exposure to exposed wires, and the vulnerable resident database will allow us to make sure that everyone in the area is safe and sound.”
Pelham Manor Mayor Jim O’Connor agreed that these measures will help the village be better prepared to respond to extreme weather in the future.
Residents can call the Pelham Police Department at 914-738-2800 or the town senior citizens advocate office at 914-738-5004 for more information on the database.