May 31, 2006
Islandwide Hurricane Drill
In advance of the hurricane season, an emergency preparedness drill will be held on Long Island on Friday from noon to 3 p.m.
The "I'm Ready" drill, sponsored by the New York State Office of Emergency Management, the Long Island Power Authority, and various state, county, and local organizations, will put hurricane response plans to the test. Homes and businesses are being asked to curtail non-essential electric use from noon to 3 p.m. and to practice emergency response procedures, according to a press release from LIPA.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a very active hurricane season along the East Coast. "NOAA is predicting 13 to 16 named storms, with eight to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which four to six could become 'major' hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher," said Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, according to NOAA's website. In an average season there are 11 named storms, two of which become major hurricanes.
Suffolk County will put its preparedness plan to the test during the drill. "One of the keys will be the ability of all levels of government, public utilities, and the private sector to work cooperatively in response to a natural or manmade catastrophe," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, according to LIPA's press release.
The American Red Cross suggests that every home should have a "Go Kit" to last three days in case of a hurricane. It should contain one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation, a three-day supply of non-perishable food, a battery powered radio and a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit. Moist towelettes for sanitation, a wrench or pliers to turn off burst water utilities, plastic sheeting and duct tape, and a dust mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air should also be included.
For more suggestions about emergency preparedness, visit redcross.org or lipower.org. LIPA's website includes an "I'm Prepared" survey as an aid for planning for emergencies.