Úquot;We are two steps away from a table top with our emergency management plan,Úquot; Lake Success Mayor Robert Bernstein told his fellow local officials at the Oct. 20 Great Neck Village Officials Association meeting. Mayor Bernstein, who serves as GNVOA president, has done much during his 14 months as president to move forward with the peninsula's emergency disaster plan implementation.
At the meeting the mayor distributed copies of the GNVOA Annual Asset Inventory, a detailed four-page list of all vital phone numbers and available equipment and personnel. Each village is to fill in the information, which will be kept confidential, and return it to Mayor Bernstein by Nov. 1. Úquot;This is the first time we will have the villages' assets listed in a uniform manner,Úquot; the mayor said.
Mayor Bernstein went on to explain that the assets, and the rest of the emergency plans, would be put into action in case of a disaster affecting the Great Neck peninsula. Disasters would include not only terrorist acts, but also disasters such as fires, an airplane crash, a snowstorm or a hurricane. The list is to be completed by all nine villages, by the town, by the three fire departments and the four local police departments.
In addition, Mayor Bernstein said that lists to be completed would also be sent to the school district, the park district, the library, and to the sewer and water districts. Úquot;I'll take anybody's suggestions,Úquot; the mayor said, adding, Úquot;this is a first step, not a final step.Úquot; At that point, PATV director Elliot Rosenblatt offered communication equipment too.
Mayor Bernstein next explained that they must now establish an emergency management office at Great Neck Plaza Village Hall. The near-by Vigilant firehouse might well be a back-up center. In the event of an emergency, if there is a major problem, all of the mayors would gather at the emergency center and keep in touch with their villages. Either a deputy mayor or trustee or department head would be in charge at each village hall.
In the event of an emergency, or a disaster, Mayor Bernstein said that the villages would have to assist the police and the firefighters. When former Great Neck Estates mayor, Ed Causin, representing his village, questioned who would be lead agency in an emergency situation, the explanation was that the office of emergency would act as coordinator, with the police and fire departments as the first responders. Úquot;We will try to coordinate and assist where we can,Úquot; Mayor Bernstein said.
Robert Lincoln, park district commissioner, former Vigilant fire chief and a representative of the Nassau County Eighth Battalion (fire companies), noted that firefighters and police handle safety issues and that the municipalities must address recovery periods and coordinate the needs of the residents.
This is an ongoing project of great importance to the GNVOA and will continue to be addressed at both the monthly meetings and at private meetings of the mayors.