50 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • SEPTEMBER 2019
FAMILY & EDUCATION
BEREADYLI WORKSHOPS PREP KIDS FOR EMERGENCIES
The interactive 30-minute presentation
is given primarily at schools and
places like the YMCA.
“We partnered with Sesame Street
because we know how important it
is to deliver information to children
in a way they can relate to, with characters
they know,” says George Coburn,
No doubt it’s much less scary to hear
Elmo talk about information that
could otherwise be overwhelming to
“Children learn what an emergency is,
to recognize the sounds that are associated
with an emergency like beeping,
and who to turn to depending on the
circumstance — a teacher if they are at
school, or firefighter, police officer or
neighbor — as well as what to do,” explains
Elizabeth Eberhardt, Assistant
Vice President of Community Impact
for United Way of Long Island.
It can be surprising what children
“During Sandy, we saw firsthand that
some kids only knew their parents as
mom and dad,” says Coburn.
During the workshop, the importance
of the children knowing their full
names as well as their parents’ and
home address is among the information
emphasized. They learn what to do
before, during and after an emergency.
“Every family is encouraged to have
a family plan,” says Eberhardt. “To
know where they will meet if they are
not together when an incident occurs.
We also ask that families prepare a gopack
and we tell them essential items to
include, like water, blankets, first aid
kit, and flashlight, among others.”
Children take home an orange backpack
called a go-pack, safety and
preparedness tips, a yellow children’s
hard hat, and certificate of completion
of the workshop.
“Generally, people aren’t well prepared
for an emergency,” says Coburn.
“They don’t think they will be impacted
directly. We hope those backpacks
are a reminder to parents that they
need to have a plan.”
An emergency can be any number
of things, not just floods, hurricanes,
or blizzards, but also microbursts of
wind or heat.
“Be sure you’re adequately covered by
insurance,” says Eberhardt. “Listen to
reports. Get your go-packs ready. Be
In addition to BeReadyLI.org, another
good resource of information is United
Way’s 2-1-1 Long Island website 211li.
org that has links to severe weather
and other essential information.
“The 2-1-1 Long Island website is comprehensive,
and we ramp it up with
additional information during and after
an emergency,” says Eberhardt. “You can
find out what nonprofits are doing to help
and other important things to know.”
PSEG Long Island also offers other programs
through employee volunteers
to first through sixth graders about
energy efficiency, renewable technologies,
and electric safety — like what
to do when a power wire is down, and
more. These programs reach more
than 100,000 kids each year, says PSEGLI’s
Coburn. It’s better to be prepared
and not need than to need and not have.
Says Eberhardt, “While you cross
your fingers and hope you don’t have
an emergency, you have to prepare for
-With Amanda De Lauzon
continued from page 49
“We ... teach the kids how to identify people
around them who can help,” says Jackie D’Anneo.
take the lead
of teamwork, commitment, and achievement.
take the lead
We foster a spirit of respect and responsibility.
SACRED HEART ACA DEMY FALL OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, September 28, 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Steeped in the tradion and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, Sacred Heart students lead with heart.
Sacred Heart empowers young women with strong academic and leadership potenal to make a difference in their
communies, in the Church, and in an increasingly interdependent and connected global community.
To learn how we empower young women in a nurturing atmosphere of courage, compassion, and commitment
please call (516) 483-7383 or visit www.sacredheartacademyli.org.
Sacred Heart Academy is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood.