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Mount Pleasant Prepares Emergency Personnel

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – With the uninvited guest of Hurricane Irene set to hit the east coast this weekend, residents in Mount Pleasant are being advised to take precautions.

The hurricane recently tore up areas of the Bahamas and is scheduled to make an arrival in the greater New York area, possible on Sunday. Mount Pleasant Chief of Police Louis Alagno said that his department is preparing for possible floodings and rescues.

"Our department is trained for water rescues and I've notified the proper people to make sure that the equipment they need for such rescues is prepared and ready to go for this weekend," Alagno said.

Chief Alagno said that the police department has not made flood rescues since 2007, with the last rescue before that made in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd. However, he assured that his team is prepared, partly due to the town's emergency management council.

The Mount Pleasant emergency management council is comprised of various members of the town's police department, area fire departments, EMS squads, along with the highway department and members of the town board. Alagno said that the council will meet Friday in anticipation of any emergency events that may occur as a result of the weekend weather.

Thornwood Fire Department Chief Richard Benkwitt says that his department will have an emergency drill tonight where they will also prep all equipment and vehicles for rescues. Benkwitt added that not only will the fire department be on standby later in the weekend, but the Westchester County Technical Rescue Team will be on standby, which he is also a part of.

Meg Waxman, a resident of Armonk, was at the A&P in Thornwood Thursday stocking up on food and supplies in the event of an emergency. However, she says she is not too concerned due to a timely purchase.

"I'm not in full panic mode like I probably would be in a snow storm," Waxman said. "We just got a generator for our home so hopefully we won't be too bad if we lose power,"

Chief Alagno said he advises all to stay off the roads this weekend and to stock up on items such as non-perishable food and batteries. Also, in the event of an extreme emergency, the Mount Pleasant community center will be used as a shelter, stocked with cots and blankets.

"Hopefully everyone can just hunker down, but we're prepared for the worst," Alagno said.

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