Governor Hochul Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Severe Thunderstorms Thursday Afternoon and Evening

Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to prepare for strong and severe storms that are expected to impact most of the state Thursday afternoon and continue overnight.

“We are closely monitoring today’s forecast as severe storms could affect much of the state through tonight, with reports of a brief tornado passing through Wyoming County.” Governor Hochul said. “I urge New Yorkers to pay attention to their local forecasts and sign up for emergency alerts so they can take steps to stay safe ahead of severe weather.”

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the state under a severe storm watch until 8:00 p.m. These storms are capable of bringing damaging winds strong enough to down trees and power lines, resulting in in power outages, hail up to an inch in diameter and possibly more than an inch, and heavy rains that can lead to isolated flash floods.

State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said: “New Yorkers should be prepared for severe weather that will affect most of the state through tonight. DHSES is currently monitoring weather conditions across the state and communicating with our partners in local government to ensure they are prepared for any impact.” related to the storm. Governor Hochul and I ask everyone to stay informed today, sign up for alerts and follow local forecasts as conditions may change throughout the day.”

For a complete list of weather forecasts and watches, visit the National Weather Service website at New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts by subscribing to NY Alert at, a free service that provides critical emergency information by text/call/email.

Severe Weather Safety Tips


  • Learn the county you live in and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued by county.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to safe, high ground in case you need to get out in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables, including furniture, clothing, and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies, and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your vehicle fueled or charged. If the power goes out, gas stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Keep a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.

Have disaster supplies on hand, including:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
  • Manual and first aid kit
  • Emergency food and water
  • non-electric can opener
  • essential drugs
  • Checkbook, cash, credit cards, ATM cards


  • If you are outdoors and a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately. If there is no shelter nearby, lie down in a ditch or low place with your hands to protect your head.
  • If you are at home or in a small building, go to the basement or to an interior room on the lowest floor of the building. Stay away from windows. Closets, bathrooms, and other interior rooms offer the best protection. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress.
  • If you are in a school, hospital, or shopping mall, go to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from large open areas and windows. Do not go outside to your car.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Don’t use elevators, take the stairs instead.

Flash floods

  • Never try to drive on a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • If water begins to rise rapidly around you in your car, get out of the vehicle immediately.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of fast moving water. Two feet of fast-moving floodwater will float your car, and water moving at two miles per hour can wash cars off a road or bridge.

Flash of lightning

  • Follow the 30-30 rule: If the time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to hit you. Seek shelter immediately. After the last lightning bolt, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter.
  • Lightning strikes the highest object. If you are above a tree line, quickly get under it and crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
  • If you can’t get to a shelter, stay out of the trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, staying twice as far from a tree as you are tall.

For more safety tips, visit the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Safety Tips web page at

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