Southampton Town's official "2011 Hurricane Survival Guide" is now available to the public, just in time for Hurricane Irene, .
The main thrust of the guide is that “Survival is Everyone’s Responsibility.”
“Experts tell us that we are in an active hurricane cycle and that it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when,’” Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, the town board liaison to the Office of Emergency Management, was quoted as saying in a statement from the town.
Graboski said that in the event of a hurricane, “There is no way that government can take care of everybody. Rather, we need our residents and visitors to share in this responsibility, so that we can best protect ourselves, our families and our property. It is up to each of us to see that our homes are secure and that relocation plans are made well in advance.”
The 2011 guide has up-to-date emergency information including telephone numbers, checklists, tips to keep residents and their families safe and information to help prepare for a hurricane and its aftermath.
Special sections are included for seniors, pet owners and persons with special needs.
"This year for the first time a list of websites in Spanish has been added," the town statement notes. "Additionally, the advisory postcard has been generated in Spanish as well as in English, in the effort to expand outreach and provide vitally important information to the Latino community."
Lt. Robert Iberger, the head of the Office of Emergency Management, said, “Evacuation for Southampton Town residents generally means re-location to higher ground to a sound structure out of the projected surge inundation areas. Mobile home residents must also evacuate their residences until after the storm has passed.”
The town ask residents who live in a flood relocation zone or mobile home to arrange to stay with a family member, friend or co-worker outside of the flood zone, until after the danger has passed. Others should stay where they are, the town instructs.
The American Red Cross may or may not open a limited number of emergency shelters, Iberger said. The shelters will be safe, but offer few amenities and may not allow pets, and should only be used as a last resort for those who cannot make arrangements to stay with friends.
Additionally, Iberger noted that residents should be prepared for downed trees and power lines disrupting electrical power for an extended period.
The guide can be accessed online, in digital paper format, by clicking here. Hard copies are available at and at the Town Community Centers in , Flanders/Riverside, Westhampton and . To request a copy by mail, residents may call 631-287-5745.