On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy's landfall, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano joined with officials from the National Weather Service (NWS) as they 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.
County Executive Mangano stated, “This designation from the National Weather Service is recognition of all the efforts my administration has undertaken to protect our residents from the threat of weather-related incidents. 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 which 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. In addition to these resources the Office of Emergency Management 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. The office also distributes 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 which 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 which 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.