By Anessa V. Cohen

I am finally down to the renovation and repair of the last of six houses that I found myself managing and supervising since Hurricane Sandy last October. Yes, I know Hurricane Sandy was downsized to a “superstorm” before it hit our Long Island shores. But whatever label the “hurricane specialists” gave the storm did not change its devastating effects on our community. Those of us who were here exclaim that if it looks like a hurricane, sounds like a hurricane, knocks things about like a hurricane, and surges and floods like a hurricane, it’s a hurricane!

So here I was minding my own business, dreaming about the possibility of finishing up this last project of mine, and still having some time left to then take a rest, enjoy the rest of my summer, listen to the birds singing, and maybe get ready for yom tov (which is so early this year that most people will forget about Labor Day) that reality struck when I went to bring in the day’s mail.

There on top of the pile of mail, front and center, was a huge color postcard sent to us from the Town of Hempstead. It shows ominous weather patterns with the following opening line: NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHEN A HURRICANE WILL STRIKE, BUT . . .

Okay, so much for enjoying the rest of my summer stress-free. The next line was a little more comforting: WE CAN HELP YOU GET PREPARED! Mmm . . . sounds comforting–but not comfortable, since even with assistance, how comforting is worrying about a new hurricane? And then the true punch line of this mailing: A GUIDE TO HURRICANE SAFETY!

Come on, do I need this now, when I am finally ready to lay Sandy to rest and look forward to better times? OK, I realize it is their job to get us ready for the upcoming hurricane season, but after the year we all had, don’t you think they could have broken it to us more gently that nearly a year has passed and we had all better wake up and prepare ourselves for “just in case”?

I guess this is wishful thinking, since when we are prepared for something, it always makes what you are preparing for much easier to deal with if you are finally faced with it. This being said, we all need to bite the bullet once again, and really get ourselves prepared for “just in case.”

None of us are quite ready for a return of what we went through this past year, and hopefully it was a one-time fluke and we will never have to worry about it again. But it never hurts to be prepared for any emergency.

If anyone has not received this guide, I urge them to take the time to either call the Town of Hempstead and request a copy be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to them, or visit

Everyone needs to read this guide, which really has a tremendous amount of important information, and prepare a checklist of things to have ready for “just in case.” I am certainly hoping that if we prepare our checklists and are ready with all emergency arrangements in place, that “H day” will never surface. As we know, when we are prepared nothing ever happens. It is just when we are not prepared that all hell breaks loose! v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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