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With severe weather events becoming more frequent and more extreme, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers are prepared for disasters. Governor Cuomo has launched the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps so residents have the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.
Citizen Preparedness training will begin in February and will be held at armories and other locations, such as the State Fair. Trainings will be 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. All training sessions will be coordinated with local county emergency management personnel.
The training course will provide an introduction to responding to a natural or man-made disaster. Participants will be advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies. Proper preparation in the home will be emphasized with encouragement to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, along with fire extinguishers, are all available and in proper working order. Trainers will supply information on what organizations can provide additional support; how to register for NY-Alert, the free statewide emergency alert system; and how to be aware of notifications from such sources as the Emergency ALERT System (EAS). Participants will also be encouraged to get more involved in existing community-based emergency activities that may be organized through local schools, businesses or community-based organizations.
A key component of this training is the distribution of New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Kits that contain key items to assist individuals in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. As an individual, a family member, and member of their community, it is essential that citizens take a few basic steps to be prepared; their quality of life and their loved ones may depend on it. Often during an emergency, electricity, heat, air conditioning or telephone service may not work. Citizens should be prepared to make it on their own for at least 7-10 days, maybe longer.
As part of the training, participants will receive information about the other supplies and personal information that they should add to their Personal Response Kit.