A Service of the members of the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management
What is it?
NorthShoreAlert is a regional public mass notification system designed to keep those who live or work on the Port Washington peninsula informed of important information during emergency and non-emergency events. The system is sponsored and led by the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management.
Public mass notification systems have become an important additional component of emergency preparation and response.
Residents prepare to be notified of emergencies by providing their landline phones, cell phones and e-mail addresses.
Public safety officials can respond by using the system to rapidly send out messages when there is a perceived, upcoming, or imminent situation that may require community action.
Based on the severity of the event, NorthShoreAlert may be used to contact residents by one or all of the following methods: home phone, work phone, cell phone, e-mail, text message. Mass notification systems have been attributed with saving lives and property throughout the USA in many emergency situations.
Notifications can come from anyone of the members of affiliates subscribing to this service. The list of members and affiliates can be seen here.
With the NorthShoreAlert, residents and businesses only need to provide their contact information once to receive emergency messages from any of the many districts to which they belong based on where they live or work. As an example, a resident of Baxter Estates is a member of the following districts: The Town, Village of Baxter Estates, PWFD, PWPD, Garbage District, and the PWM OEM district. Through this single sign up, these entities can communicate with them as the leadership may deem appropriate.
How does it work?
NorthShoreAlert has significant capacity to send large volumes of messages through phone, e-mail and text communication channels.
When there is an emergency event requiring community action, authorized officials record a voice, e-mail or text message that is then delivered quickly to individuals affected by the event.
As an example: If a hurricane event triggers an warning notice, officials can use the system to keep affected communities informed of event information as necessary.
Since there are many instances when the public may not be at home to receive an emergency message, public safety officials feel it is important that all residents and businesses provide additional contact channels by registering voluntary cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses and text numbers through the NorthShoreAlert self-subscription web portal.
NorthShoreAlert April 3, 2020
A number of recipients misunderstood one sentence from this morning's message to the community.
To clarify: CDC guidelines are for PERSONS WITH COVID19 to "remain at home, except for medical care. And to not visit public areas."
As such, people who are not diagnosed and who are asymptomatic may walk on low-traffic streets and parks (where permitted), and go to food stores and pharmacies--but must refrain from interpersonal contact with those outside their household.
Peter Forman, Commissioner
Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management
NorthShoreAlert April 3, 2020
PW/Manhasset--legal obligations re Covid19
This is Peter Forman, Commissioner of the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management with an important update at the request of our local police, fire, and ambulance services:
- Firstly, even if you think you have Covid19, please don't call 911 or visit the hospital for non-emergencies. Please contact your physician or hospital by phone first. 911, ambulances, and hospitals are overwhelmed. As an example, difficulty breathing would be an emergency.
- Next: If you do need to request assistance from first responders, you have a legal obligation to alert them if you or members of your circle have Covid19 symptoms or diagnosis, so they can take precautions. Also, falsely CLAIMING to have symptoms in order to obtain services is illegal.
- Not only are violations unfair to others and our obligations to society-at-large, but according to prosecutors we have spoken with, these behaviors could be criminally prosecuted as Reckless Endangerment.
- Next: Although the following guidance may seem self-evident, there have been reports of persons diagnosed with Covid19 socializing on the public ways of our community. Therefore...
- CDC guidelines are explicit: "Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas."
- If you know of anyone violating the preceding guidelines, please urge them to comply.
- Lastly, if you do not receive these updates by email or text, you should sign at NorthShoreAlert.org as not all messages are sent by voice.
- Please remember, as a community, we can do our part to shorten the quarantine!
Thank you and that is all for now.
Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management.
NorthShoreAlert March 30,2020
Request for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for our first responders and staffers.
Residents & Businesses--
There is an immediate need for:
Sanitary disinfecting wipes
Face shields (disposable or reusable)
In the coming weeks, there will be a need for:
Hand sanitizing dispensers
XL and M nitrile gloves
If you can offer any of the above, please contact us at alert@NorthShoreAlert.org with your phone number so we can arrange for collection.
Coronavirus: A Port Washington-Manhasset Oriented Advisory
As Commissioner of the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management, I and the other members of the PWM OEM are reaching out to share answers to questions we are actively getting and to offer a somewhat more local perspective on the coronavirus outbreak.
Q: Should I be concerned and is it coming to our area?
A: You should be concerned but we don't believe you should be scared.
There have been only 76 diagnosed cases in our country of 330 million residents. That is the equivalent of 1 in every 4.3 million Americans. While a lot is still being learned about this very new virus each day and while it will likely spread further in the country, there are some basic steps, outlined below, to reduce risk to yourself, your family, and to others.
Q: Are the local police, fire, ambulance, and hospitals ready?
A: We have met and/or spoken with Nassau County PD, Port Washington PD, Sands Point PD, Port Washington Fire, Manhasset-Lakeville Fire, and Plandome Fire, among others, and it is clear that they are increasingly ready for their role in any local outbreak.
When contacting first responders or a hospital emergency department, increasingly you will be asked about travel and any specific Covid19-related symptoms.
We have spoken with both St Francis and Northwell hospitals. Both are already doing extensive planning to handle increased patient loads with isolation requirements.
Rest assured that first responders, the medical community, and the emergency management communities are acutely focused on these issues and are deep in preparatory mode.
Q: What is the difference between coronavirus, Covid-19, and SARS-CoV-2?
A: The virus itself has been named “SARS-CoV-2” but the disease it causes has been named Covid-19, which comes from “CoronaVirus Disease 2019”.
Coronavirus is the family of viruses to which it and SARS and MERS (from past years) belong.
Q: When will it peak?
A: The opinions we have heard are that it will peak over the next 2-3 months and decline into the summer months.
Q: Who is most affected by Coronavirus?
A: People who are immuno-compromised or who have other major health issues are at greater risk. Also, the older you are the greater the risk.
Q: How does age impact vulnerability?
A: According to available data from a very recent study of 44,000 cases in China:
Less than 1% were children aged 9 and no deaths were reported.
Only 1.2% were children 10-19 years old and only 1 death was reported.
By contrast, 20% of the people who were 80 years and older died.
The median age of patients was between 49 and 56 years.
Important footnote: Although not yet clear, it seems that the younger populations are often contracting the disease, but the symptoms are milder making diagnosis less likely. Also, it isn't known if these younger populations are silent carriers who might actually be spreading it.
Q: What can I do to prevent getting this virus?
A: There are a number of basic things you can do to reduce risk to yourself and others:
Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds to be effective.
If soap and water isn’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Try not to touch your eyes, mouth, and nose before sanitizing.
If you are sick, especially with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, isolate yourself and contact your doctor and take care not to infect others with your cough or cold.
If you are diagnosed, tell others who may have been exposed.
Note, it is believed this virus has as long as a 2 to 14-day incubation period without symptoms.
There is no vaccine at this time.
Q: Will masks help?
A: According to the many doctors we have spoken to, masks are not recommended for the otherwise healthy general public for a few reasons:
Many masks add little value and need to be fitted to work.
Viruses are so small they pass through most masks and no mask is 100% effective.
There is a shortage of masks for health care professionals who have to be masked and for people who are actually sick to reduce the risk of their spreading it.
Q: Will there be “disruptions” to work and schools?
A: While this has happened already in other countries, it isn't clear if or when this could happen here. Nevertheless, some planning is in order. You might wish to consider some of the following:
Who will care for the others that are dependent on you if you were to get sick?
Or conversely, who will care for you if the person upon whom you are dependent becomes ill?
If schools are temporarily closed, who will take care of school-aged children at home?
How will your business operate? Do you have systems in place to accommodate some level of work-from-home computing?
Begin to think these issues through.
Q: How can i get updates from PWMOEM?
A: We will reach out as needed with additional information. Please pass this briefing on to others and encourage them to sign up, no charge, at NorthShoreAlert.org for additional info. If we don’t have your email and text number you will NOT receive these and other key communiques. If you still have trouble signing up or wish to add others, you can email to
That is all for now.
Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management
Note: Information re coronavirus is very fluid at the moment. The info we have shared in this briefing is believed to be correct. When something is an opinion, we have tried to make that clear.