In an effort to help residents prepare for emergencies, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently joined with a number of public agencies to host three community preparedness seminars. The three seminars, which offered residents helpful tips and information, were held at the Kings Park Fire Department, the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire Department and the Half Hollow Hills Library in Dix Hills.
The meetings were arranged by Senator Flanagan’s office to provide those in attendance with useful tips for preparing for and recovering from both natural and man-made emergencies.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management, led by Regional Director Ted Fisch, opened the informational meetings by providing the community with an overview of the organization’s statewide coordination efforts. This included an overview of the state’s role in tracking oncoming storms and working with other agencies to prepare for any emergency.
The agency’s presentation was complemented at each meeting by representatives from the Long Island Power Authority, the Suffolk County Red Cross, and the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management.
As with SEMO, each agency’s representative provided those in attendance with an overview of their role in emergencies and helpful tips on emergency preparation.
While each presenter provided the audience with specific information about their organization’s role, they also provided the audience with an outline of how they work together.
Some of the key ideas that were discussed by the presenters included:
How to prepare an emergency preparedness kit for your home in case you are forced to “shelter in place” without electricity, heat or water for a number of days. According to the experts at the seminar, if a severe emergency were to impact our area, residents should expect to be on their own for approximately three days;
How to prepare a “GO” bag and implement a family communications plan in case you need to leave your home as a storm approaches or in its immediate aftermath;
How and when to evacuate safely and how to find information about open shelters since the opening of shelters is contingent on the type of emergency facing the area. According to the officials at the meeting, since some shelters are designed for hurricanes while others are designated for other emergencies, it is essential that residents check with Suffolk County to determine which shelters are open. Residents can find out the open locations of shelters by visiting the County web site at suffolkcountyny.gov and searching for emergency shelters or by calling the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management at 631-852-4900; and
How to care for vital personal information to make recovering from emergencies easier.
"These meetings are a great way to get essential information to the public before our region faces an emergency and I thank all the organizations for their assistance. I hope that everyone who attended one of these meetings will put the tips provided to good use for their family’s safety,” stated Senator Flanagan. “It is clear that being prepared is the best defense in case of an emergency and that working together will be a key to our joint recovery.”
Any resident who was unable to attend the meetings but who would still like the information provided should visit Senator Flanagan's Emergency Preparedness Information section  to access useful information and important links. This site includes important preparedness tips, links to key emergency organizations and a full description of the essentials for a home supply kit.
Residents may also call Senator Flanagan's office at 631-361-2154 for printed copies of the informational brochures and other materials that were available at the meeting.