Long Island officials are urging residents make all necessary emergency management accommodations as hurricane season gets underway.
Joined by members of the American Red Cross and officials from PSEG Long Island Thursday, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone outlined various precautions residents should take in the event of major storms during the season, which runs from June to November.
“Superstorm Sandy has 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,” Mangano said. “It is critical that residents be prepared for hurricane season and take all hurricane warnings seriously.”
The officials suggested families make an emergency plan that accounts for the “unique needs” of its members, including the elderly, infants and those with various special needs as well as safety precautions offered by workplaces and schools.
Mangano also noted the county’s Office of Emergency Management has published evacuation routes from Nassau’s coastal areas, which are available at https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/OEM.
In the event of an evacuation, Mangano also suggested friends and family create plans for alternative sheltering, emergency supply kits and to take the most reliable family vehicle.
Residents with pets may also participate in a co-sheltering program the county has established with Nassau Community College, which would allow pets and owners to be sheltered together.
Long Island is located within the Atlantic hurricane region, which includes the northern part of the Altantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Though the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has forecasted a “below normal” hurricane season, it has predicted a 70 percent chance that six to 11 storms carry winds of 39 miles per hour or higher and that two to six of those storms could be elevated to hurricane status, in which winds would be 74 miles per hour or higher.
There is also a 20 percent chance of a “near-normal season” and a 10 percent chance of an “above-normal” season, according to the agency, through which the likelihood of such storms would increase.