Senator Flanagan Helps Residents Prepare For Emergencies

John J. Flanagan

September 02, 2008

To inform residents about how to prepare in the event of an emergency, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently hosted a community seminar which provided helpful tips and information to local residents. The event, which was held at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, was presented with the help of a number of emergency assistance organizations.

The meeting provided those who attended with numerous safety tips on how to prepare for and recover from an emergency. Representing all different levels of service, the presenters covered a wide variety of preparation and awareness information to the one hundred plus residents who attended.

The New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) spoke about the role the state plays in preparation and recovery from emergency situations. Ted Fisch, the Regional Director of the organization, presented the audience with an example of what to pack in a "GO" bag that should be available in case of evacuation. Included in this case were items you would need to have with you including hand sanitizer, flashlight, batteries, a portable radio and camping blanket.

He also informed the audience about the importance of making a current list of personal prescriptions and keeping copies of the prescriptions in the kit.

Following the SEMO presentation, D.J. Rosenthal of the Suffolk County Red Cross spoke about the need for those in attendance to make sure they have enough prescription drugs on hand to make it through an emergency. Speaking to the crowd, she asked them to check with their pharmacy to make sure that they are able to get additional supplies of essential medicine as a storm is approaching.

Steve Kamvakis of the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services (FRES) spoke about the county’s efforts to prepare shelters that will house those who must evacuate. Most importantly, Mr. Kamvakis told the assembled to listen to the reports and to make sure that a shelter is open prior to heading to one.

The opening of shelters is contingent on the type of emergency facing the area. Some shelters are designed for hurricanes while others serve during other emergencies such as a cooling station during a heat wave.

Cathy Hand of KeySpan spoke about the need for safety before, during and after any storm. Before a storm, residents should take care that trees that are older or look weak are examined to ensure that they do not fall during a wind storm. She also spoke about the need to remain in your home until a storm has passed due to the danger of falling trees and downed power lines.

After a storm, while the power crews are restoring the power, residents should avoid contact with any power lines and use extreme caution when around downed tree limbs that may be entangled with electrical lines.

For links to important information, key preparedness organizations, a list of Suffolk County emergency shelter locations and supply kit lists, please visitSENATOR FLANAGAN'S EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PAGE.

"Recovering from any emergency can be a daunting task but being prepared is the best way to face any situation. This meeting was organized to make sure that our residents are able to protect themselves, help their neighbors and make it through any emergency as a community. Together we can all get ready, get through and recover from anything," stated Senator Flanagan. "I thank SEMO, FRES, the Red Cross and KeySpan for participating in this seminar and helping all of us get ready."