Counties urge hurricane preparedness


Summer is almost here, and with it many of the benefits of living by the shore. But June also marks the beginning of the year’s hurricane season on the East Coast, and with memories of Sandy and Irene still painfully fresh in Long Islanders’ minds, Nassau and Suffolk county officials gathered with leaders of the American Red Cross on Long Island last Friday to urge residents to prepare now for future severe storms.

These local emergency services leaders, including Nassau and Suffolk County Executives Ed Mangano and Steve Bellone and principals of the American Red Cross on Long Island, recommended that residents ready “Emergency Go-Kits” and develop emergency plans for themselves and loved ones. People who live south of Sunrise Highway and north of Route 25A should also make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend elsewhere in case an evacuation order issues for these flood-prone zones, the officials said.

“Superstorm Sandy taught us that given our location as an island, we are vulnerable to the Atlantic Ocean and susceptible to the powerful and destructive nature of hurricanes,” Mangano said in a news release. “It is critical that residents be prepared for hurricane season and take all hurricane warnings seriously. Don’t take any chances and make sure your Emergency Go-Kit and Family and Friends Sheltering Plan are in place and ready should emergency management officials determine your neighborhood must evacuate.”

The release said go-kits can be duffel bags containing supplies for every household member for five days, including

  • Prescription and nonprescription medications and medical information
  • A change of clothes, rainwear, sturdy shoes and protective gloves
  • Eyeglasses and personal care items
  • Special items for infants, elderly persons, people with special needs and pets
  • A first aid kit and a “how to” guide
  • Battery-powered flashlights and radio (or crank radio)
  • Extra batteries
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