HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – With the height of hurricane season quickly approaching, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory is reminding residents that now is the time to prepare for severe weather.
Suffolk County, with its unique topography and access to the water, is particularly vulnerable during intense rainfall and high winds.
“What is happening in Houston right now in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is a reminder that preparation is key to protecting our families, homes and property,” said Presiding Officer Gregory. “I encourage all residents to take the time now to meet with their family members and ensure they are signed up to receive alerts and communications from the county. This is how we can best prevent substantial harm and loss.”
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November, with peak season from mid-August to late October.
The Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management, PSEG LI, and the National Weather Service offer the following hurricane preparation tips and safety measures to take during a storm:
Before The Storm
Fill your car with gas.
Make sure you have cash. ATMs don’t work if there is a power outage!
Check batteries in flashlights, radios, and other devices you will need.
Create a family emergency plan: Think about how you will contact one another, how you will reunite, and what you will do in different scenarios.
Put together an emergency supplies kit: Have enough food, water and other supplies to last for at least three days. Stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
Make sure loved ones with special needs are on the county’s Special Needs Registry: The Special Needs Registry includes those with special and/or functional medical needs and is designed to assist first responders and emergency planners in identifying residents who may need help evacuating and special sheltering during an emergency.
Sign up for Suffolk County’s free CodeRED high-speed notification system, which is used to contact registered users through phone calls, emails and text messages during an emergency.
Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don’t fly into or damage your home.
Review your insurance policy.
During The Storm
Tune in to local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
Follow all instructions issued by local officials.
Find out where the official shelters are being set up.
Stay with friends or relatives at a low-rise inland hotel or at a designated public shelter outside the flood zone.
Do not stay in a mobile or manufactured home.
Take pets with you if you can. Most public shelters do not allow pets other than those used by used by people with disabilities, so find out which hotels are pet-friendly.
Set your refrigerator to the coldest setting and keep it closed; this way, in the event of a power outage, your food will stay fresh longer.
Turn off propane tanks.
During a power outage, to prevent a sudden electric surge when the power comes back on, turn off major appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators and TVs.
Fill your bathtub with water in case clean tap water is unavailable. Use the water in the bathtubs for cleaning and flushing only – not for drinking.
Stay away from windows and doors, even if they are covered. Keep to a small interior room, closet or hallway.
Close all interior doors, and secure and brace external doors.
After The Storm
Keep listening to the radio or TV for important safety updates.
Watch for closed roads. Turn around if you see a barricade or a flooded road ahead.
If you see a downed power line, assume that it is a live wire and stay as far away from it as possible.
Report outages and downed power lines to PSEG: Call 800-490-0075; text “OUT” to PSEGLI (773454); or report online at www.psegliny.com.
Stay on firm, dry ground. Standing water may be electrically charged from power lines.
If using a generator, protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by following the manufacturer’s directions.
At your home, check gas, water and electrical and appliances for damage.
Use a flashlight – not candles or open flames – to inspect damage.
Wear proper shoes to prevent cutting your feet on sharp debris.
Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until officials say it is safe.
Don’t walk in areas with downed power lines.
Additional information on storm preparation is available from:
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at fema.gov
the Ready Campaign at ready.gov
the American Red Cross at redcross.org
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center at nhc.noaa.gov