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North Hempstead Announces 311 Call Center-Assisted Disaster Reporting Initiative

Immediate Release                                       Contact: Collin Nash or Justin Meyers
April 8, 2008                                                                                                               516-869-7794

North Hempstead Announces 311 Call Center-Assisted Disaster Reporting Initiative.

Supervisor Jon Kaiman yesterday unveiled a sweeping initiative designed to efficiently gather information and report damage to public and municipal buildings and infrastructure through North Hempstead’s 311 Call Center.

The event in the club house at Harbor Links Golf Course was attended by representatives from the County and State Emergency Management Office as well as from most the incorporated villages and special districts within the town.

“We are taking this crucial step not only to protect our communities in the event of a disaster but to make sure that our villages and hamlets, town and county get all the relief monies that could be made available to us,” Kaiman said.

Following in the wake of a flood management summit initiated last year by State Senator Craig Johnson, Kaiman’s initiative focuses on helping villages and special districts within the town quickly gather and report information pertaining to natural or man-made disasters, so that the county as a whole can meet FEMA’s $4.4 million threshold.

Under the disaster reporting plan, municipalities who participate in the damage assessment program, would contact the 311 Call Center—which would create a reverse 311 warning in the event of an impending disaster—to report preliminary damage and repair estimates to damaged infrastructures and public structures. The town would then pass along the information to the county, which in turn would notify FEMA

Tom Harty, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology, said at the event that the information gathering system is being fine tuned and will be tested soon.

Shannon Green of the State Emergency Management Office said North Hempstead’s use of the 311 Call Center to gather disaster information is “key” because it will help speed up the dissemination of information to her office.

“It’s a very pro-active approach to getting timely assessments in the event of a disaster,” Green said.

It’s a godsend, Michael Moorehead, the Superintendent of Highways in the village of Kings Point said of Kaiman’s disaster reporting initiative.

“Just to know the kind of information you will have to gather and who to call will be a major help in the aftermath of a disaster,” Moorehead said.

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