Senator Flanagan Teams With Supermarket Chains To Prepare Long Islanders During Hurricane Season

John J. Flanagan

September 13, 2005

Following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and as Hurricane Ophelia approaches the east coast, Senator John J. Flanagan (R-East Northport) today announced a partnership between Long Island’s nine State Senators and supermarket chains Stop & Shop, King Kullen and C-Town in an effort to help educate Long Islanders on how to prepare their homes and families should a hurricane strike our area.

At the American Red Cross in Mineola, Senator Flanagan unveiled the brochures and posters to be displayed at eighty-eight supermarkets across Long Island during September, National Preparedness Month. Each brochure contains emergency plans, evacuation instructions, and a list of suggested items to include in a basic hurricane kit. Most items are available at supermarkets and hardware stores.

“While a hurricane of Katrina’s force could cause massive damage and evacuations on Long Island, less intense storms that have hit our area in the past including 1985’s Hurricane Gloria and 1991’s Hurricane Bob caused widespread power outages lasting days, even weeks,” Senator Flanagan said. “When a hurricane warning is issued in our area, residents usually flock to supermarkets and empty the shelves. By working with Stop & Shop, King Kullen and C-Town, we are encouraging Long Islanders to prepare early and stock up on the items that will keep their families safe should a hurricane strike our area.”

According to scientists at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the remainder of the 2005 hurricane season will be extremely active, with nine to eleven hurricanes predicted for the rest of the year (mean is 6), with five to seven becoming major hurricanes. Although not nearly the intensity of Hurricane Katrina, Long Islanders remember all too well the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Gloria which made landfall on Long Island shores on September 27, 1985. Although only a category 1 storm, Gloria packed 85 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 111 mph. More than 200,000 Long Island residents had to evacuate low lying areas, and over 683,000 residents lost electrical power. More than a half million Long Islanders were without power after Hurricane Bob.

“King Kullen and its customers continue to be responsive and generous during times of need and have already donated thousands of dollars to those left victimized by the path of Hurricane Katrina,” stated King Kullen Vice President Thomas K. Cullen. “By working with Senator Flanagan and the other state senators, this is an excellent opportunity to reach many Long Islanders and remind them to prepare early. We are pleased to be working closely with the state senators as well as our friends in the supermarket industry on Long Island for the good of all our customers and neighbors.”