While Hurricane Jose climbs up the Atlantic and makes it way north, Hempstead Town is preparing for its potential impact. While the degree of impact remains uncertain, town officials are taking steps to respond to damage that could accompany a major storm, as well as offering residents tips on dealing with the aftermath of Jose.
“We want to provide our residents, especially senior citizens and other vulnerable residents, with essential resources and tips to prepare for the tropical storm watch for the upcoming days,” stated Santino. “It is critical for all of us to have a hurricane preparedness plan, and to be ready when and if the storm arrives.”
As the town prepares for Jose, personnel is focused on safeguarding residents, including checking generators at its 15 senior centers. Hempstead Town officials are in contact with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, as well as the National Weather Service, the Army Corps. Of Engineers and the National Hurricane Center. Municipal vehicles have been fueled, equipment has been moved to staging areas and Bay Constable boats will be available if roads to the barrier beaches are flooded as a result of the storm. Trucks will be available to evacuate town staff from the barrier island if necessary.
Staff members are servicing tree removal equipment and chain saws, as well as drain cleaning equipment and are clearing storm drains. Trucks and street sweepers are ready to go, and marina staff is removing town boats from the water.
Boat owners are urged to remove their vessels from marinas. If boat removal is not possible, owners are encouraged to secure dock lines, recharge batteries and take other appropriate safety precautions.
Already in place is Hempstead Town’s Swift 911 Emergency Notification System, which provides homes and businesses with recorded notifications via telephone, email or text message. Contact information in the SWIFT911 database is based on phone directories and other publicly available sources. Visit Swift911 at https://toh.li/emergency-services/swift911-emergency-notification to update or add your contact information to the system.
Town officials are reminding residents not to rake leaves into the street. This is critical during fall storms, as leaves can cause blockages in the storm drain system and result in flooding. Residents are also reminded to use caution when leaving their homes after the storm. Fallen trees often cause downed utility lines, which can present life-threatening hazards. Officials also request that residents follow any directives from emergency management personnel as the storm draws closer to ensure their safety.
As the storm approaches, Hempstead Town offers the following tips and guidelines for residents to consider:
Tips to keep in mind when a hurricane is predicted:
- Listen to local radio/TV stations for weather updates
- Organize emergency supplies
- Clear yard of loose objects (outdoor furniture, trash cans, etc.)
- Secure your boat
- Board windows and doors
- Turn refrigerator/freezer to highest setting, opening only when necessary to maintain temperature in the event of a power outage
“Having a plan can be life-saving during severe weather,” Santino said. “I encourage residents to follow these valuable safety tips.”