Locals in Hauppauge areturning more to their neighborhood watch.
According to The Perfect Neighborhood Watch leader James Semon, membership is growing daily as word continues to spread about the organization's role, especially in times of crisis like what the region saw in the Blizzard of 2013.
With neighborhoods largely impassable immediately after the blizzard dumped nearly three feet of snow on the area, Semon said his group immediately got to work helping one another out.
"The members of this watch are very involved and selfless when it comes to helping each other," Semon said in an email. "There were stories of local folks using bobcats to dig out the elderly and would not accept money."
At one point, Semon said the group received 30 requests to help shovel people, which they answered. They also helped locals by bringing food, sharing generators, freeing stuck vehicles and even finding lost pets.
"In all I received 177 emails in 2 days either offering help, or asking for help," he said, adding that much of the time he acted as a dispatcher while the community rallied for one another.
"I think we all learned from recent events, we need to help each other."
For a glimpse into how the neighborhood watch worked, here are a few tips Semon sent his group ahead of the storm:
• If you lose power and need a cell phone charged, (yes, even I-pods) I’d be happy to do that for you. Please put your phone and charger in a zip lock bag marked with your name and address. Don’t leave it in my mailbox this time please, I don’t want anyone losing their property. Knock on the door and we’ll take care of it.
• If you need a driveway / walk cleared, send me an email with the address you want done and I’ll try to connect you to neighborhood kids looking to make a few dollars, or professionals that are in our area that are willing to provide this service. Whatever the charges are can be agreed between the two parties. I’m just offering the connection. By the same token, if you have kids of the age that want to shovel and make a few $, or if you have a way to clear snow, please send me an email and I’ll connect you to those who need it. This might be safer than just hiring people not from the area.
• If power goes out for more than 2 days, we’ll be back to monitoring CB channel 23 just like during Sandy. There were just about 5 or 6 of you last time using CB’s, but some have told me they ended up buying one since then. It’s a way to communicate, and it’s dependable.
• If you have an elderly neighbor please check on them and make sure they’re ok. It may not be easy or even possible for their family to get to them.
• If you have trees down and need it removed, or if you do tree removal, email me, we’ll make those connections (this should be done by licensed professionals if deemed dangerous to clear).
• Last time a few members offered generators. If you need one or can offer one please contact me and I’ll do my best to make the connection for you. Obviously this would not be happening until those with generators have power of their own restored.
• If anyone needs, or can lend a propane heater as well, please let me know. Cold will be a factor we didn’t really deal with last time. BE CAREFUL with these as you need fresh air to be constantly introduced into the room or they can kill.
• If you put your food outside to keep cold, remember to put it in a container to keep the animals out of it.