From 1938’s famous “The Long Island Express” hurricane that hit land with 18-foot storm surges and 125-mile-per-hour winds to the much more recent Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which still affects many New Yorkers, Long Island has a long history with hurricanes and rough storms.
The Atlantic hurricane season usually stretches between June 1 and Nov. 30, but the worst storms often occur in August and September. So, while you ready your home with nonperishable foods, water and other smart emergency supplies, make sure you have all the contact information you need handy as well. Here are a few of the phone numbers Long Island residents will be happy they have in a hurricane or storm emergency.
Local emergency contacts
Everyone knows 911 as the default emergency phone number for help and dispatch of fire, police and medical attention. However, many communities also have a more specific phone number for emergencies for each town. These numbers aren’t split by neighborhoods or hamlets, but rather towns, cities and counties.
- Suffolk County Sheriff emergency number: 631-852-2288
- Babylon: 631-422-7600
- Brookhaven: 631-451-8696
- East Hampton: 631-537-7575
- Huntington: 631-351-3234
- Islip: 631-224-5306
- Riverhead: 631-727-4500
- Shelter Island: 631-749-0600
- Smithtown: 631-360-7553
- Southold: 631-765-2600
- Southampton: 631-728-5000
- Nassau County Sheriff general phone number: 516-571-2120
- Oyster Bay: 516-624-6365
- Hempstead: 516-489-5000
- North Hempstead: 516-627-0590
- Glen Cove: 516-676-2000
- Long Beach: 516-431-1000
It’s also smart to know the phone number for your individual police and fire stations, because it may be quicker to get through when 911 operators are busy with calls county-wide. LongIsland.com has compiled a list of the contact information for every fire department in Long Island and every police department for citizens to get to know.
When an emergency does occur, emergency management agencies come in to deal with the situation. This can be everything from supplying shelter to those without power to organizing rescue groups, reducing the damage of the storm and rebuilding homes and cities for years afterward. In Long Island, there are essentially three tiers of emergency management that can help control the response to the storm while it’s happening and help people get the aid they need following the natural disaster.
- At a county level, these offices don’t just work during and following a disaster, but also beforehand to prepare citizens. The communities on the south shore of Long Island are typically the hardest hit and need the most community and infrastructure preparation.
Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management: 631-852-4900
Nassau County’s Office of Emergency Management: 516 573-0636
- The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services may sound as though it’s just for terrorism protection, but this is actually the Empire State’s emergency management arm as well. It operates a 24-hour phone line – 518-292-2200 – and can play a major role in hurricane management and recovery.
- The government body that gets the most news is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its phone number is 800-621-3362, and it comes to a variety of communities all over the country each year ready to help rebuild and recover the community that was hard hit.
In many high-speed wind and flooding situations, the biggest concerns can be downed power lines, leaking sewage or a lack of heating. If utilities are an issue, it’s important to contact your local provider.
- Public Service Electric and Gas Company, better known as PSEG Long Island, has set up a storm center on its website. It also has several phone numbers. To report downed power lines, call 1-800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900. For non-emergency concerns, try 1-800-490-0025 or 631-755-6000.
- National Grid for Long Island can be reached at 1-800-930-5003 or 631-755-6200.
- Suffolk County Water Authority can be called at 631-698-9500 or 631-589-5200 after hours for emergencies.
- Water Authority of Western Nassau County’s phone number is 516-327-4100.
Another major concern for many homeowners during a hurricane or serious storm is that their pets are all right. Many can run off or become lost. LongIsland.com lists all of the contact information for the many animal shelters and humane societies on Long Island. People should find the closest few to them and take the numbers down.
Suffolk County residents can call 631-382-7722 for pet-related animal control concerns, while Nassau County citizens should call 516-785-5220.
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