Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel Community Reference Guide - Winter 2009


Dear Friend,

In the event of an emergency, being prepared for the unexpected can make a stressful situation easier to handle for you and your family. It is important to have the proper tools and plans in place today to ensure the safety of you and your family tomorrow.

I am especially attuned to emergency preparedness because my husband Mark is a member of the Nassau County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). You will read about this important program below and I encourage you to become a volunteer.

While I sincerely hope we never face an emergency situation, I have worked closely with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management and the Nassau County Red Cross to prepare this publication. Special thanks to my intern, Zak Malamed, for his research on this project.

The information provided will help you and your family prepare in advance for the unexpected.

If you have any questions pertaining to the information provided in this publication, please feel free to contact my District Office at (516) 482-6966.

Michelle Schimel
Member of Assembly



The Nassau County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a community-based program of volunteers who receive special training to provide critical support to first responders in an emergency situation. CERT volunteers also help with non-emergency preparedness projects that help improve the overall safety and quality of living in their community. Previous emergency experience is not required. If you would like to sign up to become a CERT or learn more about the program please visit or call (516) 573-0648.

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel at the Nassau County Community Emergency Response Team’s (CERT) annual full scale training exercise. Pictured (L to R) with Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel are Kenny English of the Nassau County Chapter of the American Red Cross and CERT Team Unit Leader and Assemblyman Tom McKevitt of Garden City.

The first step in preparing for the unexpected is to get informed about the potential emergencies that may strike your community. Learn about the risks that you and your family face from these hazards. For more information about New York-related risks please visit

All residents should sign up for NY-Alert, a free program that provides New Yorkers with information about threats and emergency situations and instructs them how to respond accordingly.

The NY-Alert program sends warnings and alerts about natural emergencies and road closures to your cell phone, home phone, e-mail and other technologies. You can list up to three phone numbers, two e-mail addresses and three cell phones to receive text messages. Once you sign up for NY-Alert, you will be able to customize locations and the types of emergencies (from minor to extreme) you would like to receive information about. To sign up for NY-Alert go to or call (888) 697-6972.

STEP 2 Create an Emergency Plan
When an emergency occurs you need to be ready for the unexpected–you want to have a plan.


Before a disaster strikes, it is important for you and your family to sit down and discuss what you would do in an emergency situation. Please keep in mind that a disaster could confine you to your home or force you to evacuate your neighborhood for a long period of time. Make a family plan and write it down. Most importantly, remember to practice your plan! Include the following items in your emergency plan:

Escape Routes

Family Communications Plan

Evacuation Plan

Caring for Animals

STEP 3 Prepare an Emergency Bag

Be prepared for the unexpected by assembling a kit of emergency supplies. You should plan to make it on your own for at least three days (72 hours). It is important that you and your family think about the kinds of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if they are not available.

Keep in mind that an emergency situation can force you and your family to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home for a long period of time. So consider getting two emergency kits, a home emergency kit and an emergency go-bag. In your home disaster kit you should put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time. The emergency go-bag should be a lightweight smaller version that you can easily transport and take with you in the event that you must leave your home. The following is a list of recommended items to include in each emergency kit:

Home Emergency Kit:

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and Assemblyman Chuck Lavine volunteering with Island Harvest.

Emergency Go-Bag:

Please make sure each household member knows where your emergency kits are located. Remember to change the stored water and food supplies every six months and check supplies annually. For more information about assembling an emergency kit please visit the following websites:,, and

Emergency Contact Card

Print out this card, fold it in half. Enter your Emergency Information and carry it with you.


Town of North Hempstead
311 (From any wired phone)

Nassau County Office of Emergency Management
(516) 573-0636

Nassau County American Red Cross
(516) 747-3500

Nassau County Police
(516) 573-7000

Long Island Power Authority

Website Resources:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Weather Service

New York State Emergency Management Office

New York Alert

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel

District Office:
45 North Station Plaza, Suite 203
Great Neck, New York 11021
Albany Office:
Room 324 Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248