The potential impact of Hurricane Sandy on Long Island is still 4-5 days away, but local officials are putting the wheels in motion now to prepare for the worst.
The Town of Islip’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which allows Town staff to track Town emergency response vehicles, distress calls, and storm damage, will be activated at 9 a.m. Friday, Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci has announced.
Croci has also called for mandatory meetings for all department heads in the Town for Thursday and Friday as the storm, currently a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds, heads toward the Bahamas.
“We take every precaution to keep our residents safe, and that includes staffing our emergency operations center to track the storm’s progress and the Town’s response,” Croci said as meteorologists are now saying they are confident Long Island will see some effects from Sandy.
Among the preparations currently underway in Islip Town: gassing of vehicles and heavy equipment, stabilizing loose machinery and marina equipment, stockpiling chainsaws and other emergency clearing equipment, and preparing Town employees for standby emergency activities.
Town officials are urging residents to be mindful of the threat that high winds and heavy rains pose to our area, including the possibility of flooding and downed power lines. The storm is expected to coincide with Halloween night, when many residents will be out on the streets.
“I encourage all residents to monitor the path of the storm and make any preparations that you feel are necessary for family members and pets," Croci said. "If the loss of power could threaten your personal health, such as affecting the storage of medication now is the time to prepare for that possibility.”
Residents with questions can call the Office of Emergency Management at 631-224-5730.
It's been just 14 months since Tropical Storm Irene lashed Long Island. More than 16,000 Islip Town residents living in flood zones were forced to evacuate as Irene approached, although that storm ended up sparing its worst on the island.