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Hurricane Preparedness


New York is not exempt from the hazards that a hurricane brings with it.  Therefore, it is essential for residents to be prepared in the event that a hurricane strikes.  Proper planning and preparation will ensure that you and your family will make it through a disaster unscathed.  


The first step is to put together a disaster supplies kit.  You should be prepared to sustain yourself for at least 3 days, possibly longer.  The essential disaster kit calls for the following:


  • Water: one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation

  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and extra batteries

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • First Aid Kit

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Dust mask

  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Can opener (if kit includes canned food)


This list consists of basic essentials; when assembling your kit you will want to take additional items into consideration such as: food and water for your pet, infant formula and diapers, prescription medication and glasses, important documents, warm/cold weather clothing, cash/traveler’s checks, matches in a waterproof container, personal hygiene items, etc.  You may also want to consider assembling a second, lightweight go- kit to take with you if you must get away.

After assembling a kit, you should develop a plan.  Communication is essential, especially if family members are separated.  Each family member should know how to contact one another.  This could be done in a number of ways, such as having every family member call the same friend or relative.  You may also want to consider having an out-of-town contact, who may be more accessible and in a better position to communicate between separated relatives.  In addition, you will want to plan for evacuation.  Each member of your family should know the best escape route out of your home, and you should have a set location (near your home) to meet at if separated. If time permits, secure your property of anything that could fly around and cause damage.  Also, if you have a car, be sure that its’ gas tank is full. 

People with pets need to have accommodations in place (not all shelters accept pets) – make a list of friends, veterinarians, and pet-friendly shelters that can care for your pet in an emergency.  If you have special needs, find out about assistance that may be available through JEEP (Joint Emergency Evacuation Program).  Register with the Office of Emergency Management or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.        


Lastly, you will want to stay informed.  Monitor the radio and local television stations for instructions and updates.  For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management website.


(This article was submitted by Edward Schneyer, Director of Emergency Preparedness, Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management)


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