Editor's Note: Lower Macungie Fire Chief David Nosal provided the following information to Patch. With the anticipation of the coming storm he wants residents to know what the LMFD can and cannot do. He also includes ways township residents can help reduce the impact of the storm by preparing now.
According to Chief Nosal:
The volunteer staff of The Lower Macungie Fire Department (LMFD) is committed to provide a wide variety of emergency services to the residents and business owners of Lower Macungie Township. With the expected storm moving into our area on Monday and continuing through Wednesday, we just want to advise you of the following things.
Typically these types of storms generate an excessive amount of call volume for the LMFD, so much so that our resources, equipment and staff will most likely be over extended. In order to provide emergency services to the best of our ability during these times the LMFD wants you to be aware of the following:
1) All incidents will be prioritized in the following order:
A) life safety / active fires
B) emergency incident stabilization
C) property conservation
2) The pumping out of basements will be based on the following:
A) First come, first served PROVIDED that there is a minimum of 6 inches of water collected. Our pumps are not designed for nominal amounts of water or “damp” floors. Once delivered, it will be your responsibility to monitor the pump, as we will not stay on site.
B) For our safety and the structural stability of the home, we may not issue a pump if your yard is under water or if any other safety concern is found.
C) In order to serve as many people as possible, with the few pumps that we have, pumps will only be loaned out for 6 hours at a time. Once the 6 hours has lapsed, we will pick up the pump and move onto the next home that requested it. THE EXPECTATION IS THAT WHILE YOU HAVE THE LOANER PUMP YOU WILL BE MAKING OTHER ARRANGEMENTS TO SOLVE YOUR WATER PROBLEM (ie: buying own pump and power source). If you have a history of getting a flooded basement, then you should already have plans in place to solve the issue yourself (your own pumps and generator).
3) We do not have generators to loan out.
4) Power outages are issues for the power company. Unless an electrical emergency is inside your home or is an immediate threat to life and/or property like a power line on the ground, there is really nothing we can do about it (sparking wires, trees on wires, transformer malfunctions, etc). Unfortunately, PP+L does not provide us (LMFD) with any time frame as to when something will be fixed or when the power is going to be restored.
5) Help us by being prepared yourself. All though this list is not all inclusive, please use common sense decision making throughout the duration of the storm.
A) Assume that you will be out of power for 3 days and prepare accordingly by stocking up on non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries and items to help keep you warm and dry. If you require power for a health monitoring device, please have arrangements in place as to where you can go or what your plan is if power is in fact lost. Please do not wait until the last minute or after power is lost to determine your course of action.
B) Do not drive around ‘road closed’ signs. These closures are meant to keep you safe. Remember that a newly enacted PA law prohibits you from going around those signs and doing so is punishable by a fine. In addition, emergency responders can bill for services rendered if you need to be rescued.
C) Make sure you have down spouts / extensions attached to your gutters. The farther away from your house you can keep the water, the better chance that your basement will stay dry.
D) If you live in a flood prone area, please evacuate BEFORE you find yourself trapped. Water rescues are very dangerous incidents for both the victim and rescuer. In addition, depending on the type of water rescue we find, the rescue may be delayed while we await specialized equipment.
E) Any emergency shelter openings will be a decision made by Lower Macungie Township. If any are opened, Lower Macungie Township will make the locations known through their usual notification methods. You can call Lower Macungie Township at 610-966-4343 for more information on emergency shelters.
We hope you this information informative and helpful. Our goal is to make sure everyone gets through the storm safely and uninjured. Please help us help you by practicing common sense principles during times of emergency. The LMFD can be reached, non-emergency, at 610-965-7798 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.