Turning a cautionary eye to a weekend of Tropical Storm Sandy Long Island contractors begin to ready equipment and staff

From: Long Island Contractors Association
150 Motor Parkway, Suite 307
Hauppauge, New York 11788
Contact: Marc Herbst
631 231-5422
Release: For Immediate Release

Following discussions with WABC-7's Bill Evans who reports that Tropical Storm Sandy could pummel the northeast by Sunday evening the Long Island Contractors' Association (LICA) has put their members on notice that they need to begin to implement their recovery assistance plans that would put a fleet of payloaders, dump trucks, chain saws, and more at the disposal of hard hit municipalities. 

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, "This coordinated response builds on past practices to lease heavy equipment to government in the event of a hurricane, nor'easter, blizzard or similar disaster. Hurricanes and tropical storms ignore municipal jurisdictions. How, when and who gets these types of construction equipment to clear paths, gain access for emergency vehicles and utility repair crews must be coordinated among those who have access to the `big picture' in the event of a major storm. By coordinating the allocation of these limited but crucial assets we can ensure that we can recover faster from major damage." 

WABC 7's Meteorologist Dr. Bill Evans noted, "There are half a dozen viable computer models that are being applied to the track of this storm and it is far too early to say with certainty which one will prove to be accurate. One of them would create genuine havoc in the northeast. If your role is to prepare, withstand and recover from severe weather this would be a good time to start implementing your contingency plan." 

LICA President James Pratt explained, "Following our participation in a severe weather summit hosted by WABC 7 this summer the one word that everyone took away is `preparedness.' Without a viable plan in place and one that you are prepared to implement there is no way you can adequately respond to the potential for enormous damage following a storm. And those storms have become far more intense over the last several years. As a result, it is LICA's is issuing a weather bulletin to its members who, collectively, own and operate some three quarters of a billion dollars worth of equipment." 

A note of caution about equipment availability 

Herbst cautions that some private equipment normally available to the Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Preparedness will not be there. "There has simply not been the level of infrastructure work let by municipalities over the past several years. As a result, some of the equipment that could be repositioned from existing job sites to cope with a storm has been sold, put into cold storage or not maintained. As a result there is a potential shortage of usually available assets." 

President of Operating Engineers Local 138, Mr. Bill Duffy, Jr., stated, "Our members who operate the equipment needed to get the job done are ready to be mobilized. We are just awaiting the word to 'go' and the track of Tropical Storm Sandy." 

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