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Cold snap needs being met on Island: Senior Services, Police, neighbors primed to help

The frigid temperatures that have kept the Town in a deep freeze in recent days are likely to be repeated over the course of the next couple of months. But Shelter Island is prepared, Police Chief Jim Read said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

Anyone in need of a warm place can find it during weekdays at the Senior Center. The Center can be reached between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at 631-749-1059.

At night or weekends, when the Senior Center is closed, residents in need of a warm place to stay or other assistance should call the police at 631-749-0600.

“We just have to keep them 6-feet apart,” said Senior Services Director Laurie Fanelli, bowing to the COVID protocol.

She said the Senior Center has movies to entertain guests who come to escape the cold.

Senior Center staff and the Police Department are aware of special needs and monitor those living alone, Chief Read said.

“There are special people out here,” Ms. Fanelli said about her staff and neighbors who contact fragile people in the community to assist when help is needed.

She noted that County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) called at the beginning of the week to ensure the Senior Center was prepared if circumstances would require accommodating residents seeking shelter.

In the event of another major storm, which could bring down power lines and affect heating systems over an extended period, Shelter Island School is opened to function as an emergency shelter.

Should that be necessary, word will get out to residents when it’s determined the school site is being opened. Notice of such an opening will be carried on the Reporter website as well.