Hurricane Safety

Hurricane Safety
To obtain a free copy of this brochure, contact the Town of Hempstead Department of Public Safety at (516) 538-1900.

Hurricane Safety

As no one can predict where or when a storm will hit, Hempstead Town's Department of Public Safety has compiled this brochure to prepare residents for weather emergencies. 

We have been working hard to restore our South Shore communities from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we have replenished our beaches and reconstructed our dune systems using sand dredged from Jones Inlet. We have planted beach grass to stabilize and preserve the fragile dunes, which protect coastal homes and businesses. An Army Corps of Engineers coastal protection project is underway that will further protect our beachfront. The project includes the construction of four new stone jetties and the reconstruction of three existing groins along Hempstead Town beaches.

While coastal neighborhoods remain particularly vulnerable during such storms, strong winds and torrential rain can impact areas further inland. This guide provides a pre-storm checklist and details essential items to have on hand for your home survival kit. Should an evacuation order be given, the guide outlines steps to take and provides information about coastal evacuations. Your safe and orderly evacuation during a hurricane or other emergency situation to a secure, well-provided shelter and your safe return home are our top priorities, 

Please review the information outlined below, in the event our township is threatened by a coastal storm or weather emergency. 

It's Time To Get Ready

Before The Storm

  • Develop a family preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens our area. Select several places, such as a friend's home in another town or a motel or shelter. Keep a list of their phone numbers and a road map handy.
  • Check with your veterinarian or pet advocacy group for information on where to shelter your pets in the event that you need to evacuate your home during a storm.
  • Remove damaged and diseased tree branches as soon as you notice them. Strategically remove branches to make trees more wind-resistant.
  • If a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching, listen for weather updates on local radio or television stations and the town's website.
  • Organize your emergency supplies.
  • Clear your yard of loose objects such as bicycles, lawn furniture, hanging plants and trash cans. Anchor all other objects (no matter how heavy or large) that cannot be moved.
  • Board your windows and doors. Taping windows will not prevent them from breaking, but may reduce the risk of flying glass. Open all indoor traps or doors to your attic and close and lock all of your windows.
  • Do not drain your pool completely. Lower water levels one foot to accommodate heavy rains. Add extra chlorine to prevent contamination. Cover your pool pump system and securely anchor it in place.
  • If you store a boat in your yard, lash it to your trailer securely. Let the air out of the trailer tires and secure the trailer to something sturdy in the ground. If you store your boat in a marina, check your contract; some require that you move it when a hurricane watch is issued. You are responsible for your boat.
  • Be sure your automobile is ready should you have to evacuate. Fill your vehicle's gas tank. Check your vehicle's oil and water.

Home Survival Kit

What You Need

  • A 7 to 10 day supply of drinking water per person (one gallon of water per person per day).
  • Cash (In a power outage, ATMs and banks may not be operational; businesses may not be able to accept checks or credit cards).
  • Prescription medications and prescribed medical supplies.
  • A 7 to 10 day supply of non-perishable canned or packaged foods.
  • A manual can opener.
  • Portable radio and at least five extra sets of batteries or a wind up radio.
  • Flashlights for each member of the family and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit including sterile gloves, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, thermometer, bandages, nonaspirin pain reliever, eye wash, etc.
  • Charcoal or filled propane tank for barbeque.
  • Cooler(s) filled with ice.
  • Infant necessities (medicine, sterile water, diapers, ready formula, bottles).
  • Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels and pre-moistened towelettes.
  • Camera and film or fully charged digital camera.
  • Clean-up supplies (mop, buckets, towels, disinfectant, plastic trash bags).
  • Emergency tools (wrench, pliers, etc.).
  • A non-electric telephone or fully charged cell phone.

If You Have To Evacuate

What To Do

An evacuation order may come from local officials and/or the governor and will be broadcast by local radio, television stations and/or the Swift911 Emergency Notification System. Leave as soon as you are given an evacuation order. View the coastal evacuation routes established by Nassau County's Department of Emergency Management.

Coastal Evacuation Route
Follow the arrows
affixed to these
blue and white signs.


Turn off electricity, water and gas. Unplug major appliances. If you are not advised to evacuate, remain indoors. Note: Pets, alcoholic beverages and weapons will NOT be permitted inside Red Cross shelters.

Evacuation Supplies

If you are evacuating you should bring:

  • Contact and meeting place information for your family.
  • Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, air mattresses.
  • House keys and car keys.
  • Extra clothing, shoes, eyeglasses.
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, etc.).
  • Prescription medication, first aid kit and medical supplies.
  • Bottled water.
  • Flashlights, battery-operated radio, extra batteries.
  • Quiet games, books, playing cards, favorite toys for children.
  • Important family records in a waterproof container (Include bank records, insurance policies, deeds, wills, birth and marriage certificates, property inventories, etc.).
  • Cash, ATM cards, and credit cards.

Caring for Pets in Emergency Situations

Do not leave pets behind if evacuating. Take pet carrier, leash, pet food, medications and vaccination records. You can shelter together with your pet at the Nassau Community College Physical Education Complex. Pets are not permitted inside Red Cross shelters.

Storm Facts

Hurricane Categories
Category Sustained Winds Damage Hurricane
1 74-95 mph Some to Moderate
2 96-110 mph Extensive
3 111-129 mph Devastating
4 130-156 mph Catastrophic
5 157 mph and higher Catastrophic


  • TROPICAL STORM WATCH: A tropical cyclone with winds of 39 to 73 mph is possible in the specified area of the WATCH, within 48 hours. Winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal or river flooding.
  • TROPICAL STORM WARNING: A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph or higher is expected in the specified area of the WARNING, within 36 hours or less. Winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal or river flooding.
  • HURRICANE WATCH: Hurricane conditions with winds of 74 mph or higher are possible in the specified area of the WATCH within 48 hours. Winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal or river flooding.
  • HURRICANE WARNING: Hurricane conditions with winds of 74 mph or higher are expected in the specified area of the WARNING within 36 hours. Winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal or river flooding. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue even though winds may be less than hurricane force. 
  • STORM SURGE WATCH: The possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area is possible within 48 hours. The watch may also be issued for locations not expected to receive life-threatening inundation, but which could potentially be isolated by inundation in adjacent areas.
  • STORM SURGE WARNING: The danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours is expected. The warning may also be issued for locations not expected to receive life-threatening inundation, but which could potentially be isolated by inundation in adjacent areas.

Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can occur during a hurricane and after it passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, on the lowest floor, in a door archway, bathroom or room without windows.

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go the other way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.

One of the worst parts of a hurricane is the severe winds on all sides of the eye wall. If the eye wall passes over you, prepare for a repeat of severe winds from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings and other things damaged by the first winds can be broken, destroyed or moved by the second winds.


Hurricane Safety
Important Phone Numbers and Websites

Do Not Call 911 For Hurricane Information
911 Is For Emergencies Only

American Red Cross of Long Island (516) 747-3500
PSEG Long Island
To Report an Outage
(800) 490-0025
(800) 490-0075
National Grid – Emergency Gas Service (800) 490-0045
National Grid - Service (800) 930-5003
Nassau County Department of Health (516) 227-9697
Nassau County Office of Emergency Management (516) 573-0636
Nassau County Non-Emergency Hotline (888) 684-4274
Nassau County Department of Public Works (516) 571-6900
NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (212) 867-7060
NYS Governor's Hurricane Helpline (888) 769-7243
NYS Dept. Environmental Conservation (800) 457-7362
NYS Attorney General's Office (price gouging) (800) 771-7755
Town of Hempstead Main Switchboard (After Hours) Supervisor's Helpline (Business Hours) Public Safety Water Department
After Hours and Weekends
(516) 489-5000
(516) 489-6000
(516) 538-1900
(516) 794-8300
(516) 794-8181
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (800) 621-3362
Nassau County SPCA Pet Safe Coalition, Inc. (516) 843-7722
National Hurricane Center
National Weather Service New York Forecast Office

Download a "How to Prepare for a Hurricane" brochure published by FEMA.