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American Red Cross on Long Island Kicks off Hurricane Season with Preparedness Resources

American Red Cross on Long Island Kicks off Hurricane Season with Preparedness Resources.

Long Island Red Cross (including CEO John Miller), Nassau County (including County Exec Edward Mangano) and Suffolk County (including County Exec Steve Bellone) representatives discuss hurricane preparedness at event hosted by Nassau County OEM.

"Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes."

As this year’s Atlantic and Caribbean Hurricane season begins (running June 1 through November 30), Red Cross and partners urge residents to take the necessary steps to prepare.

“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said John Miller, Long Island Red Cross CEO. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the Red Cross Hurricane App to help make it through the next storm safely.”

A 2013 survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel found that few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. Only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they are separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.

"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 Nassau County Executive Mangano. "It is critical that residents be prepared for Hurricane Season and take all warnings seriously. Don't take any chances and make sure an Emergency Go-Kit and Family & Friends Sheltering Plan are in place and ready should Emergency Management officials determine your neighborhood must evacuate."

Hurricanes are powerful and dangerous storms. They can bring heavy rains that cause major flooding, destructive winds that down power lines, uproot trees and damage homes, and storm surges that travel several miles inland destroying everything in its path.

The Red Cross and county executives urge everyone to get better prepared for this hurricane season:

  • Create an emergency preparedness kit with food and water and other basic supplies for each family member to last at least three days. Remember to include essential medications, copies of important documents and special items for children and pets.
  • Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate with your child’s school, your work and community’s emergency plans.
  • Be informed about what disasters or emergencies may occur where you live, work, play and pray, and how to respond as safely as possible. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information.
  • Download any of the Red Cross free disaster-specific mobile apps—particularly the Hurricane and First Aid apps—to get lifesaving preparedness information in the palm of your hand before and during emergencies. Red Cross apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.
  • In addition to encouraging families to prepare, the Red Cross has been working with community partners to strengthen its current capacity to respond to large-scale disasters.

    One way it has done this is by placing dozens more mobile trailers stocked with relief items across the Greater New York region, including Long Island.

    Partner organizations on Long Island that have been working with the Red Cross to provide additional locations for trailer storage include the Town of Babylon, Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management and The New York Racing Association.

    The mobile trailers filled with bulk relief supplies have been strategically placed in safe areas adjacent to, but outside, hurricane flood zones.

    “The Red Cross served Suffolk County residents prior to and in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive said. “This initiative is another opportunity where Suffolk County and the Red Cross can work together to best serve the residents. Pre-placement of emergency trailers with supplies needed during a disaster will ensure that those in need obtain resources as quickly as possible.”

    The trailers, which are mobile, can help thousands of families and are filled with tens of thousands of critical items including blankets, flashlights, crank radios and cell chargers, as well as cleanup kits, work gloves, shovels, rakes, detergent and tarps.

    In addition to supplies, The Red Cross also has a volunteer core of more than 1,100 dedicated and trained Long Islanders, as well as thousands more volunteers across the region. They are ready to step in to help as soon as a disaster occurs.

    To learn more about how to prepare and how to join the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/li or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.