The Long Island Red Cross stood alongside officials from Nassau County, Suffolk County, National Grid and PSEG Long Island on the eve of hurricane season to discuss hurricane readiness on Long Island and the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.
“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Neela Lockel, CEO of the American Red Cross on Long Island. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the new free Red Cross Emergency App to help make it through the next storm safely.”
“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 County Executive Mangano. “It is critical that residents be prepared for hurricane season and take all 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 Emergency Management officials determine your neighborhood must evacuate.”
“As hurricane season begins for our region, I am happy to join the Long Island Red Cross, our partners in government, our emergency service personnel and the private sector to educate residents about our emergency preparations for the upcoming year,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Our residents should know that we are continually reviewing and improving our emergency operations to ensure that we are best prepared for when emergency situations occur. I thank Long Island Red Cross for their continual commitment to the residents of Suffolk County and our entire region. The Red Cross is always there to answer the call and has been a ready and willing partner to respond to and provide for resources during emergency situations.”
“Safety is our top priority for customers and we are reminding our customers of the importance of planning for emergencies so they are prepared to take care of themselves and their families and to support our efforts to help others in their local community,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York. “Whenever storms cause significant damage and devastate communities across our region, customer preparedness is critical to our response and helps our crews in getting gas service restored quickly and safely. National Grid is well prepared and our gas system is performing extremely well with near 100% reliability due to the investments we have made in our employees and our infrastructure over the past few years.”
“PSEG Long Island is confident that the infrastructure, technology and communications upgrades that we have made through the last four years have prepared us well to weather severe storms in the future,” said John O’Connell, Vice President of Transmission and Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “From our relationships with Nassau and Suffolk Counties to our partnerships with local support agencies, we are working hard every day to serve our customers, friends and neighbors through the hurricane season.”
In June, the Red Cross will commemorate a century of service in Long Island. Since its founding in 1917, hurricanes have marked the history of the humanitarian organization in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. From the Long Island Express in 1938 to Gloria in 1985 to Irene in 2011 to Sandy in 2012, Red Cross volunteers have been at the front lines of these devastating storms helping their neighbors prepare, cope and recover.
Long Islanders know all too well the impact of these devastating 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 urged 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.
Additionally, the Red Cross highlighted their mobile preparedness resource, their Emergency App, a one-download resource that puts vital safety and preparedness information at your fingertips. To download the app, search “Red Cross” in your app store.
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 with the placement of dozens more mobile trailers stocked with relief items across the Greater New York region, including Long Island. The mobile trailers filled with bulk relief supplies have been strategically placed in safe areas adjacent to, but outside, hurricane flood zones.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.