ISLAND HARVEST FOOD BANK WEATHER STATEMENT
— Emergency stand-by system activated in advance of blizzard warning in effect for LI —
HAUPPAUGE, NY — January 22, 2016 — In anticipation of the pending blizzard warning issued by the national Weather Service, Island Harvest Food Bank today announced the activation of its emergency response protocols due to the blizzard conditions forecasted throughout the region beginning early Saturday morning and continuing throughout the day.
A blizzard warning is in effect for Long Island from 4:00 a.m. Saturday until noon on Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, Nassau and Suffolk counties can expect between 6 and 10 inches of snow with slightly lower amounts on the Twin Forks. Coastal flooding and high winds are also forecasted.
Island Harvest currently has stockpiles of bottled water and MREs (meals, ready to eat) at its Hauppauge Distribution Center. The product is ready to be distributed to areas impacted by the storm, should the need arise. Island Harvest will also maintain drivers and staff to deliver the supplies if needed, and to assist first responders in affected areas with food, water and other vital supplies.
Island Harvest will remain in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and the emergency management offices of both Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the Long Island Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) throughout the weekend. The organization is also in communications with Feeding America, a national network of food banks; in the event aid and assistance is required in other parts of the east coast also facing severe storm conditions due to Hurricane Joaquin.
The National Weather Service further advises that travel could be extremely dangerous with whiteout conditions during the storm and that roads may become impassable, and high winds could bring down electric lines and tree limbs and Island Harvest echoes the advice of officials in urging Long Islanders to stay home, if possible, during the storm.
Island Harvest’s regularly scheduled distribution of food to its member agencies across Long Island on Monday will commence as usual. Agencies will be notified of any changes, should they occur, or can contact Island Harvest at 516-294-8528, extension 117.
Island Harvest will issue updates accordingly and as necessary. For more information visit www.islandharvest.org, or call 631-873-4775.
About Island Harvest Food Bank
Island Harvest Food Bank is a leading hunger-relief organization that provides food and other resources to people in need. Always treating those it helps with dignity and respect, its goal is to end hunger and reduce poverty on Long Island through efficient food collection and distribution; enhanced hunger-awareness and nutrition-education programs; job training; and direct services targeted at children, senior citizens, veterans and others at risk. Approximately 94 cents of every dollar donated to Island Harvest goes to programs that support more than 316,000 Long Islanders. Island Harvest is a lead agency in the region’s emergency-response preparedness for food and product distribution, and is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. More information can be found at www.islandharvest.org.
Below are tips from the American Red Cross to help residents stay safe:
COLD WEATHER/WINTER STORM SAFETY
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.
- If travel is necessary, make sure you have a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle which includes: shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries, sack of sand or cat litter.
- Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
- When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.
- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
- Bring pets inside during winter weather.
- Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.
- Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
HOME HEATING SAFETY Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.
- Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
- Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from m space heaters.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
POWER OUTAGE If the power goes out, people should:
- Use flashlights for light, not candles.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Check refrigerated food for spoilage and if in doubt, throw it out. Your refrigerator will keep cold for about 4 hours. If the freezer is full, it will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
- Have coolers on hand and surround your food with ice in the cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics to avoid damaging them when the power is restored.
- Avoid unnecessary travel as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.
- Watch animals and keep them under your direct control.
USING A GENERATOR
If someone is planning to use a generator, never use it indoors, including in a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace or other area, even with ventilation. Generators put off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly.
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Media contact: Don Miller
West End Strategies, Ltd.