Red Cross, county officials urge hurricane-season preparedness

In advance of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, Nassau and Suffolk?s county executives spoke at a news conference in Bethpage on May 30, 2014, urging Long Islanders to either develop or update their plans should another big hurricane hit Long Island. (Credit: Newsday / Jessica Rotkiewicz)

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The weather may be unpredictable, but Long Islanders should not be. They should have plans in place, and practice implementing them, before the next hurricane, officials warned Friday.

"You can never be too prepared," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said at a news conference in Bethpage with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and American Red Cross officials.

Bellone said it was increasingly clear that extreme weather would be the new normal. "We know the likelihood is that we will face more weather events like we've seen with superstorm Sandy," Bellone said.

"We have to be ready by working together. We cannot take our foot off the pedal and assume that we can relax. The lesson learned is a weather event like Sandy can happen at any moment at any time and that means we have to be prepared," he said.

The officials recommended that residents pack an emergency go-kit, which includes first-aid supplies and identification papers, and prepare a plan that states how family members will respond if the emergency comes when they are at home, at school or at work.

"After all the information is collected, gather your family to discuss how the plan works," the officials said in a statement. "Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise."

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The officials held the informational session as Hurricane Preparedness Week drew to a close and just before the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

There's a 70 percent likelihood that eight to 13 named storms will develop, with three to six becoming hurricanes, and one to two of them becoming major -- that's category 3 or above, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

With Patricia Kitchen

@Newsday

Go-kit items for hurricane

 

First aid kit, and a "how-to" guide.

Essential medications.

Battery-powered flashlight and radio, extra batteries and a 12-hour glow stick.

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A change of clothes, sturdy shoes and protective gloves.

Eyeglasses and other personal-care items.

Important documents in a waterproof container, such as recent tax returns, licenses, wills and passports.

Other tips:

Remember to turn off the utilities.

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Use the most reliable vehicle. More vehicles means more gridlock.

Source: Nassau County

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