Long Islanders Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Joaquin

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With Hurricane Joaquin threatening the East Coast, Long Island officials began urging the public to prepare for the worst despite the storm’s uncertain path as it reached major hurricane status Thursday.The National Hurricane Center upgraded Joaquin to a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph sustained winds, terming it “extremely dangerous.” It was expected to batter the central Bahamas overnight. As for where Joaquin will hit next, meteorologists are grappling with major unknowns due to the myriad atmospheric conditions in play. The intensifying storm could make landfall in the Northeast or veer further into the Atlantic, sparing significant coastal damage.“Right now we’re essentially in a ‘prepare and pray’ mode,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters during a press conference at police headquarters in Yaphank. “We’re gonna prepare for a worst-case scenario; we’re gonna pray that it does not unfold.”Although the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane watch may not be issued for the East Coast until Friday at the earliest, the National Weather Service issued a coastal flood watch and high surf advisory through 6 a.m. Friday to start. Astronomically higher than usual tides are forecast to cause barrier beach erosion and flood coastal homes.The message from officials in both Nassau and Suffolk counties is to stay informed, have go-kits ready for residents in low-lying areas, stock up on enough food and water that would last at least three days, gas up vehicles and generators, and heed evacuation warnings, if any are issued, so as not to put first responders unnecessarily in harm’s way.“The county is prepared to respond,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said Thursday morning during a press conference at the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management in Bethpage.The county executive expressed confidence in a rapid and efficient reaction if the storm strikes, noting that Nassau learned from Superstorm Sandy, which hit LI three years ago this month. He added that residents also have to play their part, because early preparation prior to Sandy “saved lives.”Both Mangano and Bellone said their counties have more assets to help tackle the storm than they did during Sandy, touting dozens of high-axle vehicles used for flood rescues, portable traffic lights for blackouts and a slew of new emergency generators. One of the major issues in the early days following Sandy were the power outages that knocked out traffic lights, making roads very dangerous. An increase in portable traffic lights should help alleviate that problem, Mangano noted.Local municipalities are also calling residents to be vigilant. Town of Hempstead said it’s preparing equipment for a potential storm and urged boaters to begin removing their vessels from marinas.“It is critical for each and every one of us to formulate a hurricane preparedness plan, and to be ready when and if the storm arrives,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray.In Brookhaven Town, supervisor Ed Romaine informed residents that they should visit the town’s website for news and weather updates, and also to access its “Hurricane Survival Guide.”Calling for the public to be proactive, Islip town officials not only cited Sandy’s aftermath, but also invoked the “unprecedented and unpredicted” storm in August 2014 that flooded neighborhoods with a record-setting 13 inches of rainfall, the most ever measured in a 24-hour period statewide.If a major tropical storm does hit LI, it would be the first true test for PSEG Long Island since it took over for the Long Island Power Authority in January 2014 amid outrage over LIPA’s inadequate response to Sandy. The utility said it’s monitoring Hurricane Joaquin and is preparing for a potential deluge of rain and powerful wind gusts. Resources will be in place over the weekend to initiate electric service restoration “as soon as the storm passes,” PSEG LI said in a statement.Officials remain concerned about LI’s Sandy-battered infrastructure. For example, construction is ongoing at Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, which suffered a catastrophic failure during Sandy. Mangano said the county will use sandbags as an added layer of protection around the plant because a planned storm wall is still being built. Pumps have also been installed to keep pumping sewage away from people’s homes, the county executive said.On the other side of the county line, Bellone expressed concern that the dunes on Fire Island have yet to be restored since they were flattened by Sandy, which puts coastal communities on the Great South Bay at risk of flooding. Fire Island Ferries, the largest boat service to the mostly car-free barrier island, said it plans to suspend service Sunday.Meanwhile, without knowing where Joaquin will go next, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told all New Yorkers to get ready for the hurricane.“Since we don’t know if the storm is downstate or upstate, you have to prepare statewide,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo reporters on a conference call Thursday.After Sandy,many upstate communities were devastated by severe flooding that left bridges impassable for days, if not weeks.The governor said it’s too early to tell what major roads, if any, will be closed or whether mass transit will be shut down in New York City and on Long Island as it was during Irene and Sandy.He added that maintenance crews are clearing problem areas in streams and conduits that have proven problematic in past storms, as emergency management offices are being activated statewide and are coordinating with utility agencies, “especially on Long Island.”Cuomo said that experience with prior hurricanes have helped the state better prepare for tropical cyclones. But he cautioned that Mother Nature always finds a blind spot.“You can’t be prepared for everything,” he warned.One thing’s for sure, more rain is definitely heading toward LI, with heavy downfall expected Friday morning and possibly through the weekend along with strong winds.last_img read more

Love Conquers Ageism

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesOne year ago an unknown film called Alive Inside took the Sundance Film Festival by storm and showed audiences that the spark of life can be ignited in the most unlikeliest places through the universal power of music.What I love most about Alive Inside is how it changed the way thousands (maybe millions) of people think about dementia, and by extension, their own identity and their own aging.Since its success, I have been keeping an eager eye out for the next film to have similar potential to transform the way people think about aging. Last week I found one – The Age of Love.If there is a greater universal truth than the power of music, it is the power of love. Hands down. The Age of Love is a ground breaking new documentary that captures the universal nature of love through a humorous, poignant and unprecedented inside look at the dating scene for 70-to-90-year-olds.The Age of Love is an almost painfully honest look at ordinary people finding themselves unexpectedly looking for love in late life. It follows eight older adults in the city of Rochester, N.Y., who agreed to be filmed as they participate in the emotional rollercoaster of speed dating.Yes, speed dating — for septa-and-octogenarians. It’s a growing trend nationally and when filmmaker Steven Loring learned that 30 adults age 70-to-90 had signed up for a speed dating event in his home town of Rochester he started calling participants to ask if he could interview them and film their experience. 15 Dates 5 Minutes Each — And Lots of Decisions to Make!Speed dating is a structured event that gathers a group of singles together and pairs them with one-another in a series of five minute mini-dates. Participants note down potential romantic interests on a scorecard that is submitted to an organizer after the event. No contact information is exchanged but if the scorecard indicates chemistry individuals are notified by mail and it’s on them to take it from there.Sound like a gimmick put on for reality TV? One audience member at an early screening did call it “the best reality show I have ever seen.” That is actually a profound compliment to the filmmaker and participants.Dating late in life is no joke. We are inundated with cultural messages and Janice on a 5 minute speed date with Pacho.advertisements telling us we are less beautiful and less desirable the older we get. Many people find themselves alone and isolated just at the point in life when they most need and desire companionship. As Janice, one of the film subjects, put it, “The heart might even be capable of more love now then before because I think I have a lot of love to give but I don’t have all the distractions I had before.”Loring told the website Senior Planet about an even more poignant conversation he had with another subject in the film. That woman told him, “‘My own children don’t ask me what’s in my heart, what I’m feeling. They ask me what I need, they take care of me, they love me. But they never ask me about what I’m feeling emotionally. And I have so much to tell you…’”I’m not reviewing this documentary as a film critic but as a pro-aging activist. From a critical standpoint it’s a phenomenal film, no question – it’s getting rave ratings. But from a transformational viewpoint this film humanizes aging in an unprecedented way. It’s subversively radical. This film lets viewers – no matter their age – genuinely experience the truth that love and companionship transcend age.Why is that subversive? It flies in the face of our culture’s rampant ageism. Ageism is perpetuated by the mass media through propaganda that tells us that love, passion, sex and beauty are the exclusive domains of youth.“When they put themselves out there and participated in this event these people just came alive,” Loring said. “They told me they felt liberated from society’s stereotypes.”Just like governments use propaganda during times of war to dehumanize the enemy, our mainstream media uses propaganda to dehumanize old people and pressure all of us into buying youth-centric products. I’m not sure I can think of a more damaging stereotype than the myth that older people or disabled people or people living with cognitive changes like dementia do not desire or deserve love, companionship and physical intimacy as much as anyone else.The beauty and power of The Age of Love is that it doesn’t hit viewers over the head with this message or an agenda. And there are no fairy tale endings in this film. It simply gives viewers an experience where they feel what these people feel. That is how change happens.However, Loring does want pro-aging activists like us to help him spread the word. He has a beautiful plan to bring this film to the masses. He is organizing nationwide grassroots screening events in February 2015 around the theme of Valentine’s Day:Beginning on Valentine’s Day 2015, we will be offering screenings of THE AGE OF LOVE for your local theater, corporation, residential community, ‘healthy aging’ organization, conference or school.We’ve chosen Saturday, February 14th as the launch date in order to bring attention to stereotypes about the hearts of seniors on a day typically devoted to youth and romance. We want to send a strong message to national media that the desire to be seen and understood by a companion is universal, and that the urge to love and be loved remains strong, regardless of age.CLICK HERE for details: theAgeofLoveMovie.com/host-a-screening/Steve’s goal is to organize 300 screenings throughout the month of February reaching 25,000 people. He’s specifically targeting organizations that can follow-up with organized speed dating events in their communities. It’s super easy, cheap and incredibly fun and impactful.I have a challenge specifically for ChangingAging’s audience. I know a lot of LTC culture change organizations read this blog. I’m talking to you now – LOVE is not just for “active seniors”.  I want to see nursing homes and assisted living homes and memory care homes  and home care agencies get behind this film. I want to see YOU hosting screenings AND hosting speed dating events. I know of at least one nursing home that has gotten involved and I’m going to report on their experience.Don’t own a nursing home? You can help out too. One thing I learned from Alive Inside’s experience trying to break into the theaters was that film distributors, funders and even the media really pay attention to social media metrics – how many likes the film has on its Facebook page, how many notes of interest/support on the timeline or how many followers and retweets is has on Twitter. If you think this message deserves to be shared, “Like“ The Age of Love on Facebook here, follow it on Twitter here, and please post a comment.Who’s in? The Age of Love – Official Trailer from Steven Loring on Vimeo.Related PostsAlive InsideLast summer Al Power called me to tell me about a film maker who wanted to explore the connection between life, art, music and aging. I jumped at the chance to to meet up with them at St. John’s and we spent a day there talking about ideas and doing…“Alive Inside” Viral Video Sweeps Internet In Advance of World PremiereFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A video clip from the upcoming documentary Alive Inside demonstrating the power of music to awaken and transform a man seemingly living in a stupor in a nursing home has swept the Internet with over 3.5 million views in only three days. Debuting in New York April…Looking For Best Intergenerational ProgramsI’m speaking on a panel about intergenerational engagement at a local conference in Seattle. I’d love to get feedback from or audience on amazing intergenerational programs from around the world.TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: DisruptAging lovelast_img read more