Storm Update From William Spencer
I write this as the approaching nor’easter begins to bear down on us and the temperatures continue to drop because I am increasingly worried about residents who do not have electricity or a secure, safe place to stay. My office has been working continually with LIPA and other government and non-profit agencies to get residents what they need to survive. I would like to urge everyone to take appropriate precautions to stay warm and keep safe in preparation for this new threat.
Strong winds, heavy rain and cold temperatures are predicted in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. Keeping warm is more than a comfort issue. It is a matter of life and death. In its early stages, hypothermia<http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=94312> — too-low body temperature — is hard to recognize. That makes it especially deadly, as many people don’t know it is happening and become unable to take care of themselves.
Many people think it has to be freezing outside before they can get hypothermia. But if a person is wet from rain or sweat, hypothermia can set in at temperatures well above 40 F. Babies, particularly those asleep in cold rooms also are at risk. People who have been drinking alcohol also risk hypothermia, as do some people suffering from mental illnesses.
Hypothermia is a serious medical condition! The symptoms of hypothermia are similar in children and adults. They can include: confusion<http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=63314>, memory loss<http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=63547>, slurred speech, body temperature below 95F, exhaustion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness<http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=1945>, numb hands or feet, shallow breathing<http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6749>. The symptoms of hypothermia in infants could include: bright red, cold skin and very low energy level. If you witness someone shivering uncontrollably, get them to warmth immediately because this may be a sign of hypothermia. Please call 911 if you think that you or another person has become hypothermic! The life you save may be your own!
Attached you will find valuable information to help you through these stressful days. Good luck and be safe. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you need anything in the coming days. We are here for you.
William R. Spencer, MD Suffolk County Legislator 18th Legislative District
More Important Information
If You Need to Charge-Up or Warm-Up
I have extended my office hours so that residents can warm-up and charge-up their personal communication devices.
We will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6th through Friday, November 9th. If further hours are necessary, we will make accommodations.
As always, staff will be available to assist residents in obtaining timely, critical information about a variety of crisis-related issues every day. Neighbors who need to use a phone, fax or copier, can safely and quietly do so. Just come to my Legislative District Office at 15 Park Circle, Suite 209 Centerport, directly next to the Centerport Fire Department.
If You Have No Electricity
The first step in getting your power restored is to report an outage. Call LIPA right away at 1-800-490-0075 or visit LIPA’s Storm Center at www.lipower.org/stormcenter<http://www.lipower.org/stormcenter> to report your outage online.
In some cases, LIPA’s automated telephone system and website will give you an estimated restoration time. An outage at your specific address can be reported quickly, simply by using your telephone number. That’s why it’s important that LIPA has your current phone number in their records before there’s an outage. It is essential for quick and accurate reporting.
You can also visit LIPA’s Storm Center to get timely restoration updates through LIPA’s interactive Outage Map. Please do not report your outage more than once unless your lights stay off when your neighbors are back on.
If you are unable to get an answer from LIPA, please call my office at 631-854-4500 and we will assist you.
If You Need Shelter
To find a shelter near you, you can text SHELTER and your zip code to #43362 (4FEMA). Or you can reach the American Red Cross at 1(877)733-2767.
Please call (631)852-4900 before you go to a shelter to ensure there is still space available
Suffolk County in conjunction with American Red Cross:
* Huntington YMCA, 60 Main Street, Huntington 11743 * Sachem East High School -177 Granny Road Farmingville, NY 11738 * Brentwood High School Sonderling Bldg. – 52 Third Avenue Brentwood, NY 11717 * Robert Frost Middle School – 450 Half Hollow Rd., Deer Park, NY 11729
Pet friendly shelters* Brentwood Rec Center – 99 Third Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717 * Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus – Corchaug Bldg. – 121 Speonk-Riverhead Road Riverhead, NY 11901
Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, 74 Hauppauge Rd., Commack Hours: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Mon – Wed; until 10 p.m. TH; 6:30 – 5 p.m. Friday. / (631) 462 – 9800
Dix Hills Ice Rink, 575 Vanderbilt, Dix Hills Hours: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Friday / (631) 462 – 5883
Central Presbyterian Church, 240 Main Street, Huntington Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Use rear entrance. / (631) 421 – 3663
Temple Beth El, 660 Park Avenue, Huntington, Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday / (631) 421 – 5835
Huntington YMCA, 60 Main Street, Huntington Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. / (631) 421 – 4242
Lights of Salvation Church, 1599 New York Avenue, Huntington Station Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday / (631) 421 – 4375
St. Hugh of Lincoln RC Church, New York Avenue & E. 9th Street, Huntington Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Salvation Army East Northport Service Center, 319 Clay Pitts Road, East Northport Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Seven Days a Week
If You Need Food
Red Cross Meal Distribution Centers
Lunch will be served at 11:00 a.m. and dinner at 4:00 p.m.
H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge, 100 Veterans Highway, Hauppauge
Riverhead County Center, 210 Center Drive, Riverhead
Mastic Fire House, 1088 Mastic Road, Mastic
Local Food Pantries
Huntington Community Food Council, Manorfield Family Center, 90 East 5th Street, Huntington Station
Helping Hands Rescue Mission, 225 Broadway, Huntington Station
Saint Hugh of Lincoln Parish Outreach, 21 East 9th Street, Huntington Station
St Francis of Assisi – St Vincent de Paul, 29 North Gate Drive, Greenlawn
If you are unable to get assistance from these sites, please call my office at 631-854-4500 and we will assist you.
Some More Tips to Keep You Safe
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Suggestions
IN THE WAKE OF SANDY… IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CITIZENS TO REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO PROTECT YOUR LIFE AND HEALTH AND THAT OF YOUR FAMILY:
* DRINK CLEAN, SAFE WATER AND EAT SAFE, UNCONTAMINATED FOOD
* KEEP GENERATORS OUTSIDE AT LEAST 25 FT FROM DOORS, WINDOWS AND VENTS
* DO NOT GRILL INSIDE YOUR HOME – THE FUMES CAN KILL
* NEVER TOUCH A DOWNED POWER LINE OR ANYTHING TOUCHING ONE
* USE 1 CUP OF BLEACH FOR EACH GALLON OF WATER TO REMOVE MOLD
* NEVER MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA – THE FUMES CAN KILL
* WASHING YOUR HANDS PREVENTS ILLNESS
* SEEK HELP IF HAVING TROUBLE COPING
FOR MORE LIFE SAVING HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION CALL THE CDC AT 1-800-232-4636..TTY 1-888-232-6348.
If you decide you need a standby generator in your home, have it installed and wired by a licensed electrician, and make sure it meets fire underwriter regulation. Have that person brief you on all safety aspects of the generator’s operation.
If you plan to use a portable generator to provide power during an outage, make every effort to use it properly.
* A generator should only be used outside on stable ground and away from any windows and vents to prevent deadly fumes from entering the home through an opening. * Read the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help you operate the generator as safely as possible. * Do not connect the generator to your home’s wiring. Power can flow out of your home into the electric system creating a hazard for crews working in the area. * This goes for any time of the year – install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by fuel combustion that can make you ill with flu-like symptoms and in extreme cases can be fatal. * Never fill the generator with fuel while it is running or still hot, and don’t store gasoline in your home. * You will not be able to use all appliances at once. You may have to turn off some appliances to avoid overload. And make sure any connected appliances are off before starting the generator. * Generators should be used for emergency standby power ONLY and for short periods of time. Your refrigerator does not need to run 24 hours a day to keep food fresh. Monitor the internal temperature, which should be kept at 40° or below.
Please notify LIPA when you purchase or have a generator. Because it is possible for a generator to send power into LIPA’s lines, operating a generator without their knowledge can be dangerous for you and for field personnel if they are doing restoration in your area.
Western Suffolk Division Phone: 516-545-4082 or 516-545-3405 Fax: 516-545-2244 / 2200
Eastern Suffolk Division Phone: 516-545-3782 or 516-545-2221 Fax: 516-545-2244 / 2200
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.
When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.
Important CO Poisoning Prevention Tips:
* Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home. * Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage. * Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area. * Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines. * Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper. * If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter. See list below.
If CO poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional immediately!!