Hurricane Preparedness


The Office of Emergency Management held a community meeting on hurricane preparedness recently at the Manorhaven Village Hall. Running the meeting were Peter Vita of the Office of Emergency Management and Gerard Twombly of the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management. They provided many useful tips for hurricane season, which is right around the corner. In an emergency, the first thing you’ll probably be told is “Stay calm!” or “Don’t panic!” or “Heads down!” But, when a hurricane could rip through your front yard, smashing houses and tearing up trees, you should know what’s coming and be prepared light-years before it strikes.
We all remember Hurricane Sandy. In 2011, the storm knocked on Port Washington’s door and its devastation was unforgettable.
The first thing is to get a disaster kit with basic supplies. Homeland Security says that a quality disaster kit contains:
• 1 gallon of water
• 3-day supply of nonperishable food
• A battery-powered or hand-crank radio
• Extra batteries
• A flashlight
• First-aid
• A whistle
• Tools
• Duct tape
• Print maps
If you have a pet, keep food and supplies for them. This may seem trivial, but we cannot forget about our pets. In fact, at the meeting for Hurricane Preparedness, a pamphlet was handed out explaining the importance of pet safety and preparedness. It’s no joking matter. Never leave a pet behind, because there is no telling how a pet will react in a disaster and they will not survive on their own. If Will Smith’s family could take their golden retriever with them when aliens attacked in Independence Day, we can take our pets when confronted with a hurricane.
Secondly, make a plan that describes what you and your family will do in an emergency. Pick two places to meet should you all get separated: one outside the family home and one outside of the neighborhood, maybe at the home of out of area friends or family members. Write down emergency phone numbers and have copies of important documents and family photos. For after a disaster strikes, have pictures of the inside and outside of your home and keep important receipts of large value household items for the insurance company. Also, remember to top off fuel tanks, clear clogged rain gutters and trim deadwood so no timbering trees impact the house or power lines. Back up computer files should the electricity be lost. A temporary fix to storm power surges is to buy a generator. During Sandy, some households didn’t have power for weeks and households with generators became safe havens for those who hadn’t showered.
A third way to prepare is to make a “Go Kit,”  a kit you bring in the event of evacuation or the dire need to leave your home. This includes all titles, deeds to the house, Social Security cards, birth certificates, vital phone numbers, money and photographs.
Do not wait to take shelter in a hurricane or emergency and do not go outside until you hear the all clear has been given from the government.
You can listen to the government during emergencies with a hand cranking radio, as well as receive North Shore text alerts. The link for receiving them is found on your village sebsite. Other important websites to check out before a hurricane are and and
The priority in a hurricane is to be prepared well before the hurricane actually touches our homes.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.


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