Kingston, NY – Ulster County Executive Mike Hein declared a state of emergency in Ulster County in preparation for the potential impact of Hurricane Irene, which may hit New York State this coming weekend. A state of emergency is issued under Article 2B of New York State Executive Law. At the County Executive’s direction, county departments are planning cooperative response efforts to take all necessary actions to sure the safety of county residents. The state government is communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service to discuss the potential tracks of the storm. The County Emergency Management Office is monitoring all such communications. "As a precaution, I am declaring a state of emergency for Ulster County in advance of Hurricane Irene," said County Executive Hein. "I will continue to work with all local government officials, other County leaders and first responders to organize a coordinated response to this pending storm. I urge all County residents to take all necessary preparations outlined below by the Ulster County Office of Emergency Communication and Management. Prior to the storm, please check the Ulster County website at ulstercountyny.gov for regular updates. In the case of lost power please listen to commercial radio for emergency updates, for which a battery operated radio is necessary." Necessary Storm Preparations & Tips: •Subscribe to NY Alert (www.NYALERT.gov) to get the latest watches and warnings direct from the National Weather Service. •Have a family disaster plan. •Be especially conscious to look out for the elderly, disabled and children. •Have a plan for your pets (pets are not allowed in general population shelters). •Be prepared for extended power outages. Have a supply of batteries, a battery operated radio, and flashlights (avoid the use of candles whenever possible due to the fire hazard). •Have enough potable water for each person (one gallon per person, per day). •Have a quantity of nonperishable food (and a manual can opener). •Have a first aid kit and extra medications on hand. •Have a small quantity of cash on hand in case ATM machines are without power. •Heed all official warnings including orders to evacuate. •Never drive through flooded roadways - Turn Around, Don't Drown! •Consider all down wires to be energized. •Never run a generator or charcoal cooking appliance indoors (great danger of carbon monoxide poisoning). •The Red Cross is finalizing sheltering plans for the weekend. Please keep in mind the wide area of impact will affect the availability of all resources - Red Cross, utilities, etc. •Follow the advice of ready.gov - Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed. An emergency declaration allows the County Executive to take all necessary actions to ensure the safety of County residents. The emergency declaration will grant the County Executive emergency powers. These emergency powers allow the Chief Elected Official of a municipality to issue special orders. Should they be necessary, these orders MAY include: Implementing a curfew; Imposing driving restrictions; Overriding certain local laws; and Issuing emergency contracts. The emergency declaration does not ensure funding that might eventually be available. Ulster County’s goal at this time is to mobilize the necessary resources to protect life and property and ensure the safety of County residents..