The following email was sent from the Achiezer Organization to residents of Far Rockaway and the Five Towns on Thursday evening.
We understand that many in the community may be scared, concerned, or simply unsure of what should or should not be done in anticipation of the predicted Hurricane Irene which potentially might hit our neighborhood this weekend.
We have been working over the last several hours with community leaders exploring all possibilities which we may face during this storm.
Below are some the key points which were discussed on an emergency conference call with participants from Achiezer, Hatzolah, 101 Precinct, Nassau County Precinct, JCC, Office of Emergency Management, and local Rabbonim.
Over the next few hours, once the significance of the storm is further clarified, we will announce potential evacuation procedures and other urgent advisories.
1) Please identify any elderly or handicapped people in your vicinity who may be unable to move on their own, should an evacuation be ordered. Once we have a roster of these individuals we can work together with community agencies to ensure that this population is cared for.
2) Although the storm is not projected to hit until Sunday morning/afternoon, those who will feel more comfortable avoiding the storm should make plans to be away for Shabbos. This is the safest measure which can be taken in the event of a real Hurricane.
3) The Vaad Harabonim of the Five Towns has paskined that it is permissible, and strongly encouraged, that you leave a battery powered radio set to a news channel over Shabbos.
Again we stress that the foregoing is a conglomerated effort of the Office of Emergency Management, the Police Department, Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County, Achiezer, The Vaad of the Five Towns, the JCC, Local Rabbanim & many of the community organizations who will decide the best course of action to ensure that community members are safe and informed as developments occur.
We wish to reiterate that these plans are preliminary and precautionary.
As soon as we have a more clear directive of the forecasted path of this storm, we will immediately pass this information along.
Hatzalah of the Rockaways & Nassau County
Rabbi Boruch B. Bender
Rabbi Tzvi Flaum
Vaad Harabonim of Far Rockaway & The Five Towns
Natan Mandelbaum & Alex Glucksman