With part of our region already under a Tropical Storm Watch, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino urges residents to make necessary preparations as Elsa – currently a tropical storm – could bring significant winds, heavy rain and flooding to our area as early as Thursday night and well into Friday. Town crews have begun clearing storm drains and basins, preparing chainsaws and other equipment to address downed trees, and securing assets in anticipation of the storm’s impact. Residents are also reminded to update or develop their Family Emergency Plan, Emergency Go-Kits and Family & Friends Sheltering Plan, as storms can quickly evolve into dangerous situations requiring quick action and sometimes evacuation.
“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,” said Supervisor Saladino. “With Tropical Storm Elsa already staring in our direction, it is critical that residents be prepared and take all storm and hurricane warnings seriously. Don’t take any chances and make sure your Emergency Go-Kit and Family & Friends Sheltering Plan are in place and ready should officials determine your neighborhood must evacuate.”
An updated and accurate Family Emergency Plan is a key component to planning for Hurricane Season. The unique needs of family members, such as the elderly, infants, those with access and functional needs and any pets should be considered. Residents should inquire about what plans are in place at work and schools in case of emergency. After all of the information is collected, gather your family to discuss how the plan works. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.
Residents should assembly an Emergency Go-Kit, keep it by their front door in a duffel bag and include enough supplies for everyone in the household for five days, including:
- First aid kit. Pack a “how to” guide and masks 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, 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 with specific care instructions and behavioral problems.
- First Aid kit.
- Current photos.
- Sturdy leash, collar or harness, muzzles.
- Paper towels for clean-up.
- Food and bottled water (three-day supply).
- Manual can opener and bowls.
- Water purification tablets.
- Toys and other comfort items.
- Treats, brushes and combs.
- Newspapers and plastic bags.
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 south of Sunrise Highway or in low lying areas 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.
Supervisor Saladino added, “Town of Oyster Bay residents know all too well the threats posed by Hurricane Season. Be prepared, not scared, start thinking about your plan today.”
Homeowners should plan for the possibility of power outages as heavy rains and wind results in downed branches and trees which can knock out power lines. To report downed trees or stranded cars during the storm, please call Public Safety at (516) 677-5350. With the loss of power comes the use of generators. Residents are reminded that generators should never be run inside the home or garage due to the dangers of carbon monoxide. Generators used in enclosed spaces can lead to death. To report a power outage or electrical emergency, residents may contact PSEG Long Island at 1-800-490-0075.
Residents can stay alert for weather forecasts and messages from the Town. Residents may also signup for Emergency Notifications at www.oysterbaytown.com.