Mineola, NY – On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, officials from the National Weather Service (NWS) recognized Nassau County as “Storm Ready” to meet any potential disaster.
This national declaration is a far departure from the “F” in readiness that Nassau County earned from the State Senate Homeland Security Committee under the prior administration.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said of the designation: “From planning to communicating directly with our residents, we are Storm-Ready to face any disaster that may come our way.”
The National Weather Service’s “Storm Ready” designation is awarded to jurisdictions that demonstrate a proven ability to react to the threat of weather-related emergencies. To qualify for the designation, communities must have established prescribed criteria for meeting a crisis – including advanced planning, safety programs, proven safety skills, effective communication, and sufficient resources to cope with any event before it strikes and while it unfolds.
Nassau County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) maintains state-of-the-art radio, an Orion LX weather station, video, internet, telephone equipment as well as sufficient emergency vehicles to address any potential weather-related disaster. The new technology includes weather radios with charging ports for each of the County’s storm shelters.
The Office of Emergency Management also communicates directly with residents. The Office conducts annual Safety Fairs and Hurricane workshops and works closely with volunteer groups to promote public awareness of disaster threats. They distribute preparedness literature and newsletters to residents and business owners. During weather emergencies a meteorologist from the National Weather Services’ Upton facility is stationed at OEM for the duration of the event. The OEM location has audio and visual capabilities that monitor any storm’s path and the recovery efforts which follow.
The “Storm Ready” program began in 1999 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is the National Weather Service’s method of recognizing municipalities that are truly prepared for the wrath of Mother Nature. Nassau County has experienced its share of catastrophic events in recent years. These include hurricanes, tornados, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, flooding, and earthquakes.
County Executive. Mangano also announced today the County’s purchase of new recovery and rescue equipment that is critical in sustaining the level of response during weather-related emergencies. Purchases include solar-powered traffic signal trailers and message signs that will not fail during power outages; high-axel vehicles; and new radios that will improve communications between first responders.
“While Nassau County faced some of the darkest days in its history, we were able to answer the call and deal with the devastation of Superstorm Sandy,” County Executive Mangano said. “My administration was aggressive in putting together response plans for all emergencies. Just one year before Sandy, Hurricane Irene sounded the warning bell and we listened. I am proud to accept this “Storm Ready” designation from the National Weather Service.”
Mangano recognized and thanked the men and women of our Police Department for their work in helping sustain this level of excellence; Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Craft and his staff for their dedication, and all the first responders.