Long Island Preps for Potential Disasters


“Be prepared, not scared!”

That was the motto said by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano at a press conference Thursday as a new plan, BeReadyLI, was unveiled to help people in times of disaster.

BeReadyLI.org is a partnership between 2-1-1 Long Island and PSEG Long Island to help inform Long Islanders how to prepare before, during, and after disaster strikes. The partnership also collaborates with the American Red Cross of Long Island and Island Harvest to help those in times of need.

With a potential tropical storm making its way up the East Coast, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the timing of the website couldn’t have been more perfect with September recognized as National Preparedness Month.

“One of the things I think we learned as we took in the lessons from (Hurricane) Sandy is that preparedness, being prepared before an event happens is probably the most important thing to deal with,” Bellone said. “People are very busy, in their lives doing lots of things; these things come up at a moment’s notice.”

Bellone spoke of the steps that he and the other organizations have been taking in preparation if a disaster occurred. “We have completed management plans, we are working with all 10 towns in an unprecedented way to revise the county emergency plan, conducted a number of meetings with the American Red Cross to ensure shelter preparations and catastrophic hurricane training in the emergency operations center.”

He also said that they have been working with the National Weather Service and New York State National Guard.

“We work constantly to be more prepared and then we try to communicate that to the public,” Mangano declared. He further acknowledged the 120 hour timeline, a detailed plan of how the counties prep for disaster 120 hours in advance and continues each hour until the impending storm.

PSEG Long Island President and COO David Daly said he was very excited about the partnership with 2-1-1. “BeReadyLI basically puts everything (resources) all in one place.” Daly called the website a tremendous resource, easy to use, and even translates into several languages.

Daly pointed out that not only will adults learn how to prepare from the site, but that their kids will be able to as well with the PSEG Let’s Get Ready app they developed with Sesame Street. “The app really focuses on our children and making sure our children understand what’s going on.”

Don Daley Jr. of IBEW Local 1049 who is partnering with PSEG Long Island said that the BeReadyLI initiative will make it much more effective for his members to communicate with the Long Island community which was extremely difficult during Hurricane Sandy.

President and CEO of Health and Welfare Council of Long Island Gwen O’Shea summed it all up.“Communication, coordination, collaboration and cooperation are what are talked about when describing effective planning of preparedness.”

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