County Executive Edward P. Mangano Urges Residents To Prepare Now For Tropical Storm Joaquin

With Tropical Storm Joaquin strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and Hurricane Season at its peak, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano urges residents to update or develop their Family Emergency Plan, Emergency Go-Kit and Family & Friends Sheltering Plan.

“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 and tropical storms such as Joaquin,” said County Executive Mangano. “It is critical that residents be prepared for and take all warnings seriously.”

The Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is prepared should Long Island face a late season storm and has begun implementing its 120 hour plan should Tropical Storm Joaquin approach Nassau County. Vital supplies are now stationed in communities across the county – available to quickly dispatch life-saving supplies directly to neighborhoods in need. Through existing governmental grant programs, Nassau County has acquired new equipment which is readily available if needed by first responders.

The Nassau County Office of Emergency Management has outlined evacuations routes from Coastal Evacuation Areas. Residents should familiarize themselves with evacuation routes and secure their property in the event of a hurricane. To review Coastal Evacuation Areas, evacuation routes or learn additional hurricane preparedness information, please visit the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management website at https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/OEM.

Residents should develop a Family & Friends Sheltering Plan in the event they are asked to evacuate their home. If you are advised to evacuate, here’s what to do:

-A Family & Friends Sheltering Plan is recommended for anyone who resides in Nassau County south of Sunrise Highway or north of Route 25A. You should contact a friend or family member that lives outside the zone & make arrangements as this provides the most comfortable way to weather a severe storm.
-Bring your Emergency Go-Kit
-Turn off all utilities
-Take your most reliable vehicle and avoid taking multiple vehicles that create gridlock
-Utilize evacuation routes listed at www.nassaucountyny.gov/OEM.

Residents should 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, including:

-First aid kit. Pack a “how to” guide as well.
-Essential prescription and nonprescription items and medical information.
-Battery-powered flashlight and radio (or crank radio), extra batteries and a 12-hour glow stick.
-A change of clothes, plus rainwear, sturdy shoes and protective gloves for everyone.
-Personal items, eyeglasses and personal care items.
-Important documents in a waterproof container: drivers’ licenses, wills, birth/marriage certificates, insurance policies, deed or lease papers, recent tax returns, credit card and bank account numbers, social security cards, passport and home inventory list
-Make sure you have special items for infants, elderly persons, and pets or loved ones with special needs.

Residents can also safeguard their pets by preparing a Pet Go-Kit, which should include:

-Your pets’ names, address and phone number
-Your name, address, phone and cell number
-Emergency contact – friend or family
-Your veterinarian’s name and contact info
-Important documents
-Medical records : medications : specific care instructions : behavioral problems : first aid kit / medications
-Current photos
-Sturdy leash, collar or harness, muzzles
-Paper towels for clean-up
-Food & bottled water (3 day supply)
-Manual can opener & Bowls
-Water purification tablets
-Toys and other comfort items
-Treats, brushes, combs
-Newspapers and plastic

Recently, plans were adopted 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 (C.A.R.T.). Under the co-sheltering program, owners will be housed in a separate portion of the building but provided easy and controlled access to their pets. Owners will be issued identification bracelets linking them to their pets. Volunteers will operate the shelter, but less oversight will be necessary since owners are allowed to feed, exercise and interact with pets. Additional emergency pet shelter training will be provided to volunteers and non-profit organizations that wish to participate in the C.A.R.T. Program. Individuals interested in C.A.R.T. training, please contact Nassau O.E.M. at (516) 573-0636.

 P.O. Jesse Atchison