Storm preparation is well under way in Nassau County, with police, fire and public works’ officials readying their response to heavy rain and high winds that Hurricane Joaquin could bring to Long Island this weekend
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano discussed the County’s storm preparation and response initiatives, at Nassau’s Office of Emergency Management Warehouse in Bethpage today. He was joined by the County Commissioners of Police, Emergency Management, Fire Marshall‘s Office, DPW, Animal Emergency and Public Health Emergencies.
The Nassau County Office of Emergency Management has been monitoring the storm since its initial formation, Mangano said, and is ready to activate its Emergency Operations Center should the storm continue to track towards Long Island.
While there are still scenarios that would take Hurricane Joaquin out to sea, the possibility of the hurricane reaching the Long Island’s coast is gaining merit, according to the National Weather Service.
“As always, we will prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” County Executive Mangano said. “Nassau County is following its 120-hour timeline, and all County agencies began preparation in anticipation of the storm.”
“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 continued. “Protecting lives and property are our top priorities.”
Through various grant programs, the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management obtained 20 high axle amphibious vehicles that can be deployed in emergencies – after Hurricane Sandy. In addition, they have stationed vital supplies in strategic community locations throughout the county in case there is a need.
The Department of Public Works is ready with Portable Traffic Signals, Emergency Sign Trailers, Generators and Highway Advisory Radio Trailers. Traffic maintenance crews are ready to respond to signal outages, and the Department is cleaning catch basins, trash gates and tidal gates. Workers are also testing and running pumps, chainsaws, wood chippers, and trucks.
The County Executive urged all residents to plan for the possibility of power outages and road closures. (To report a power outage, call PSEG at 1-800-490-0025.) He also asked all residents to stay alert for weather forecasts and messages from Nassau County and take Hurricane warnings seriously.
The Nassau County Office of Emergency Management has outlined evacuations routes from Coastal Areas.
Residents should familiarize themselves with evacuation routes and secure their property in the event of a hurricane. This information is available on our website at http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/OEM.
“We urge residents to update their Friends & Family Emergency Plan because it is a key component to planning for Hurricane Season – especially those residing, south of Sunrise Highway or north of Route 25A. Residents in these low lying areas should contact a friend or family member that lives outside the zone and make arrangements to ensure the most comfortable way to weather a severe storm.”
Residents should also assemble an Emergency Go-Kit, keep it by their front door in a duffel bag and include enough supplies for everyone in the household for 5 days. Some items to include are:
o a first aid kit,
o essential prescriptions and nonprescription items,
o medical information,
o battery-powered flashlight and radio,
o extra batteries,
o a change of clothes,
o rainwear, sturdy shoes, protective gloves & important documents in a waterproof container.
Residents can also safeguard their pets by preparing a Pet Go-Kit, which should include:
o your pets’ names, address and phone number,
o your veterinarian’s name and contact info,
o important documents, medical records, medications,
o specific care instructions, a sturdy leash, collar or harness,
o water purification tablets and a 3 day supply of food & bottled water.
Most recently, Nassau County adopted plans for a co-sheltering program with Nassau Community College, to allow residents and their pets to be housed in the same facility with our new County Animal Response Team.
“Help us, help you, by preparing for what we hope will never come,” he said.
While not just geared toward Hurricanes, Mangano encouraged residents to also sign up for SMART911. This allows residents to create a free safety profile for their household at http://www.Smart911.com that can include family members, medical conditions, allergies, pets and emergency contacts. This information enhances 911 call taking, streamlines response times, provides emergency alerts to residents and assists in the planning and response in the event of a disaster. The safety profile provides a way for residents to also include information that will enhance disaster response such as power needs for medical equipment, evacuation assistance and sheltering needs.
To stay up-to-date during emergency situations, residents can download the NassauNow application on their smartphone and tablet devices.