Severe weather training programs held in Bay Shore and West Islip, with more to come


So say the South Shore is bracing for a hurricane or blizzard. For some reason, many local people scramble for bread and milk

“Most of us have enough food in our houses to live for a month, even if you had to eat Oreos,” said Islip Town Councilman Steve Flotteron of Brightwaters. “We learned [from Sandy] that you probably could have used some extra gas in your tank, or some cash.”

Those are some of the common sense approaches to preparing for extreme weather that 250 people got to learn about during two separate training programs at Bay Shore and West Islip firehouses this month.

Flotteron had attended one such event in January at the American Legion Rusy Bohm Post 411 in Islip that was hosted by the Islip North Community Watch Group.

“I saw it and thought it was a good idea,” he said about bringing the program to Bay Shore and West Islip.

He partnered with the Bay Shore and West Islip fire departments, which were also on hand to discuss and answers questions from residents. The last program was Monday night in West Islip.

The training programs are funded by New York State, and offer residents important life-saving tips and tools to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a severe weather emergency. 

All attendees also receive a fee Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit, which include items like flashlights, emergency blankets and more. Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program in January 2014,

“This is stuff no one ever really sits around and talks about with their family,” Flotteron said.

Another example is that people should have plans in place for their pets in the event a family has to evacuate their home.

It’s not always the case that a pet shelter or pet friendly shelter is available, Flotteron noted. And wherever a family might end up staying after an evacuation might not be pet friendly — even if that means living with a highly allergic relative who can’t accept dogs or cats.

The Women of West Islip nonprofit group, which raises funds and helps local families in need, helped spread the word about Monday night’s two-hour event, while also donating water and cookies for attendees.

The Bay Shore Lions Club partnered on the March 20 training program in Bay Shore.

Flotteron emphasized that even if people missed the two local meetings and would like to attend another, they could visit the NYS website at for a list of upcoming programs. There are several more on Long Island this spring, including programs in Deer Park and North Babylon.

Top: About 150 people showed to Monday night’s two-hour disaster preparedness training session at the West Islip Fire Department headquarters on Union Avenue. Credit: Jennifer Mercurio/Lasting Impressions Photography.

Islip Town Councilman Steve Flotteron volunteered to host the two local programs for New York State. Credit: Jennifer Mercurio of Lasting Impressions Photography

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