Albany, NY - May 16, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today proclaimed the week of May 15-21 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in New York State. The annual campaign brings together the resources of New York State agencies and the National Weather Service, as well as local government agencies, and volunteer and private sector organizations to teach residents how to protect themselves and their families from coastal storms and hurricanes.
"Climate change has made extreme weather the new reality and it is essential New Yorkers understand the dangers and how to properly prepare for what Mother Nature throws our way," Governor Cuomo said. "New York State is not only committed to preparing our citizens for the next big storm, but we continue to improve our forecasting and the coordination of our responses to be as prepared as possible when the next storm hits."
Preparedness for any type of weather begins at home, and New York State continues to offer Citizen Preparedness Corps training courses for residents to have the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. To date, more than 100,000 New Yorkers have been trained through the program.
Trainings are led by the New York National Guard, working with experts from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control. Participants are advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies. For more information on the Citizen Preparedness Corps and learn how to sign up for a training, either in person or online, visit here.
There are four basic steps to preparedness:
1. Make a Plan: Develop a plan for you and your family at home, school, work and outdoors. Identify a safe place to take shelter and know what actions to take when a warning is issued.
2. Prepare a Kit: Emergency supplies should last 7-10 days and at least include flashlights, a weather radio, and extra batteries. A weather radio is one of the best ways to be aware of dangerous weather – it will receive broadcasts directly from the National Weather Service. Make sure you have a kit for your home and your car. Plan for any medical needs (e.g., medicine) that your family may have, and make sure you keep and maintain emergency supplies for any family pets.
3. Be Informed: Stay tuned to TV 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 you with critical emergency information when you need it most.
4. Get Involved: Consider a visit to your local 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. To learn about disaster preparedness volunteer opportunities, visit the Citizen Corps website.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, "DHSES is proud to partner with other State, local and federal agencies to participate in this important educational effort. Coastal storms and hurricanes have the potential to cause widespread flooding and power outages, disrupting thousands of lives and causing costly property damage. You can prepare now for the 2016 hurricane season by reviewing your family’s emergency plan and check on emergency supplies in your home, in your car, and at work.”
Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Executive Director Lisa Bova-Hiatt said, "Every day, through the collaborative efforts of numerous local, State and federal agencies, we work to make New York stronger and more resilient than before. Hurricane Preparedness Week serves as a tremendous reminder that readiness begins at home. With Sandy, Irene and Lee still fresh in our minds, we cannot emphasize enough the profound importance of New Yorkers being prepared and having a plan, should another storm occur."
Adjutant General of New York Major General Anthony German said, "The men and women of the New York National Guard are proud to be part of Governor Cuomo's Citizen Preparedness Corps training program designed to train New Yorkers on the basics of personal and family preparedness. Helping our fellow Citizens prepare for hurricanes, other weather related disasters, or any other emergencies is the goal of the Governor's program. Our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen know the importance of planning and preparation to make emergencies less threatening and recovery quicker."
Following devastating storms like Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo launched a wide array of efforts statewide to strengthen storm response and mitigation efforts. Through coordinated efforts among state agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Service, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Public Service, Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transit Authority and Port Authority of NY/NJ, among others, the state has initiated many innovative projects that strengthen its preparedness for and response to extreme weather.
Last year, Governor Cuomo announced the creation and roll out of NY Responds, a universal emergency management software which was made available to all counties at no cost, and to connect county emergency management personnel with the New York State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to improve coordination and cooperation during disasters or emergencies. With the completion of Phase One, both county governments and state agencies can submit and share vital disaster-related information ranging from incident reporting and resource requests to real-time tracking of assets and weather conditions.
During Phase Two, counties will be trained to utilize Mutualink, a new technology solution that integrates telephone, radio, video and file sharing into one, interoperable application into the NY Responds common operating picture. This new approach to emergency management, is crucial to preparedness, response and recovery form any severe weather incident.
In addition to NY Responds, New York State continues to build out the NYS Mesonet system which will provide real-time weather information through NY Responds to better understand and prepare for the impacts of severe weather. For more information about NYS Mesonet, visit here.
For more information on personal preparedness in advance of potentially severe weather, visit here.
Click here to view Governor Cuomo's Proclamation