Albany, NY - April 27, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today proclaimed April 26 to May 2, 2015 to be Severe Weather Awareness Week in New York State, encouraging citizens statewide to prepare and practice for severe weather events that could strike during any season.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner John P. Melville said, “It is our core mission to equip New Yorkers with tools and information to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, not just this week, but each week of the year. Taking time out now to plan safety measures and understand how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies before they strike could very well save lives as we experience more common and more violent severe weather like that of the past several years.”
One step new Yorkers can take to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies is to sign up for the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps training. The training provides residents with the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. The training, which provides an introduction to how to respond to a natural or manmade disaster, is led by the New York National Guard in partnership with experts from the DHSES Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control. Participants will be advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies.
Training sessions can be found online HERE. Anyone who cannot take the in-person training can take an abbreviated, 12-minute online course HERE.
Governor Cuomo recommended that New Yorkers learn the four basic steps to preparedness:
1. Make a plan. Develop a plan for you and your family at home, school, work, and outdoors. The plan should include escape routes from your home and a meeting place nearby and outside your neighborhood in case you are asked to evacuate. Also have an emergency contact outside the immediate area if your household is separated or unable to communicate with each other.
2. Prepare a kit. Emergency supplies should last seven to ten days and should include a gallon of water per family member per day along with plenty of food for each family member. Good choices are canned, ready-to-eat foods, and high-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, nuts, dried meat (for example, jerky), granola, trail mix, and energy bars. Kits should include a serviceable flashlight with extra batteries, first aid supplies, medications, and a radio to reach the local stations and the National Weather Service. A weather radio is one of the best ways to be aware of dangerous weather.
Make sure you have a kit for your home and your car. Plan for any medical needs your family may have, and keep and maintain emergency supplies for any family pets.
3. Be informed. Stay tuned to local television and radio stations that broadcast Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages and follow local emergency orders when issued. You can also receive emergency information via your computer or cell phone by subscribing to NY Alert, a free service that provides critical emergency information. Download the NY-Alert smartphone App at www.ialertz.com for Android or Apple devices. In addition, make copies of important papers and credit cards in case you must evacuate your home.
4. Get involved. Sign up for online or in-person Citizen Preparedness Corps training at prepare.ny.gov. Contact your county emergency management office to learn more about how to protect you and your family. Consider volunteering with organizations such as the American Red Cross, New York Cares, or the Salvation Army. Most importantly, keep yourself informed, and learn more about preparedness on the DHSES website.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.