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Candidate Haber unveils Nassau emergency management proposal

Adam Haber, a Democratic candidate for Nassau county

Adam Haber, a Democratic candidate for Nassau county executive (April 17, 2013) Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Adam Haber, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Nassau County executive, has unveiled an emergency management plan for catastrophes such as superstorm Sandy that includes a countywide information system.

Contractors for disaster response would be prescreened and selected competitively in advance of hurricane season that begins on June 1, Haber said. A new disaster "czar" would develop regulations to ensure that vital businesses including gas stations remain open in case of a prolonged power failure.

Haber, a Roslyn school board member and businessman from East Hills, said his plan would "improve our response by pre-screening contractors before hurricane season, empowering an emergency management czar to plan for disaster situations and creating information distribution processes based on legislative districts."

Haber said "Nassau families deserve better" than the services they received under Republican County Executive Edward Mangano during Sandy last fall.

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin countered that "Haber's inexperience and lack of emergency preparedness is clear as his plan seeks to . . . create more red tape throughout government during times of natural disaster." Nevin said Mangano " . . . personally coordinated emergency response efforts during both [Tropical Storm] Irene and Sandy."

Former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who also is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Mangano, did not respond to telephone messages to discuss the issue.

Haber said his czar would have the authority to direct resources from all county agencies until emergencies pass.

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