For the Atlantic, Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends November 30. Historically, the greatest potential for hurricanes in New York occurs from August through October, however it is important to remain prepared at all times. Taking the time to have a plan and an emergency kit before a storm is on the horizon can save time, money, and lives. As Hurricane Dorian makes landfall down south, the Town of Smithtown would like to remind all our citizens to always be vigilant and be prepared ahead of time.
Know Where to Go: Local Disaster Centers
In the event of an emergency, the following locations in the Town of Smithtown area act as emergency shelters for the general public:
Smithtown Senior Center
Smithtown Animal Shelter
Hauppauge High School
Kings Park High School
Commack High School
Smithtown High School East
Smithtown High School West
Accompsett Middle School
Great Hollow Middle School
William T. Rogers Middle School
Nesaquake Middle School
Commack Middle School
Hauppauge Middle School
Bretton Woods Elementary
Forest Brook Elementary
Pack a Go Bag: Emergency Preparedness Kit Items
Putting together an Emergency Preparedness Kit prior to any disaster is one of the best ways to be ready for any emergency. Most recommended items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save a life. It’s a good practice to have an Emergency Preparedness Kit stored in locations where you spend most of your time. Pack a kit for the home, at work, and in your car, so you’re ready at any time.
Your Emergency Preparedness Kit should include:
1 gallon of water a day per person
Ample supply of non-perishable food items including:
Tool kit including:
Hammer and nails
Screwdriver and screws
Flashlights and extra batteries for each person
First Aid Kit including:
Band-Aids and bandages
Sanitation Products including:
Extra clothing essentials
Battery powered or hand crank radio
Solar powered cellphone charger or extra battery for power outage
Cash and a roll of quarters
Pet food, collar, leash, carrier
Baby diapers, wipes, rash ointment
Smithtown Fire Department’s Second Assistant Chief, Timothy Duckham, recommends to have a minimum of a three day supply handy.
“Always be prepared for potential severe weather by having 3 days worth of supplies and medications ready. In the event a storm occurs, follow local emergency agency instructions and keep informed via the Internet and local news outlets.” - Timothy J. Duckham, Smithtown FD Second Assistant Chief
Tips for an Emergency Family Plan
Spend time with your family to create an Emergency Contact plan. Details should entail loved one’s phone numbers and a location where the whole family should meet up in the event you lose touch with one another. A paper copy of family phone numbers and emergency contacts will come in handy if cell phone service is not available. Keep a local Map with this list of contacts as a backup should GPS systems fail.
You can Microchip your pet(s) for $25 at the Smithtown Animal Shelter by calling to make an appointment. This is a painless process that will help reunite you with your four-legged family members in the event of a separation. If they have already been microchipped, make sure the information is kept updated on the chip. If Animal Control finds your lost pet, they can quickly contact you with the good news.
For senior citizens, create a support network of family, friends, and others who can assist you during an emergency, and share your disaster plans with them. If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.
Make copies of important documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, and any other documents you might need in the immediate aftermath of a storm. FEMA and Insurance Claims require specific information about your property. Keeping copies in a secure secondary location can help avoid delays when you are need of timely funds for damages.
Customize your emergency plans to suit the needs of your loved ones, and remember to update it each year. A good plan should cover three major objectives.
Activation: early on before the storm arrives, “Activate” the plan with your family.
Evacuation: remind your loved ones where to take shelter if you must “Evacuate”
Communication: Have a system of communications set up that will allow you to “Communicate” with your family in the event of a power outage.