NEW YORKERS URGED TO GET READY FOR 2010 HURRICANE SEASON

Office: (518) 292-2310 E-Mail: CA@semo.state.ny.us Fax: (518) 457-4923
NEWS from SEMO
NEW YORK STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 22, Albany, NY 12226-2251
David A. Paterson, Governor John R. Gibb, Director
CONTACT: FOR RELEASE:
Dennis Michalski IMMEDIATE, Friday
518.292.2310 May 21, 2010
CA@semo.state.ny.us

With the start of the 2010 hurricane / coastal storm season less than two weeks away, the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) today urged New Yorkers to review their family emergency plans and check on emergency supplies they have at home and at work.

“While our coastal region is at greatest risk from these storms, we have seen first‐hand the devastation these storms cause when they moved inland through the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier,” said SEMO Director John R. Gibb. “Everyone needs to be prepared for these storms and any type of emergency. The damage and destruction caused by the storms in the greater New York metropolitan area this past March should serve as a stark reminder of nature’s ferocity.”

Governor David A. Paterson, recognizing the importance of both community and personal preparedness, has designated May 23‐29 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in the Empire State. “The chief responsibility of government is to protect the citizens, communities and economic vitality of our State and Nation – and individuals must share that responsibility,” Governor Paterson said. “It is imperative that citizens take the time now to be prepared before storm warnings are posted by reviewing their emergency plans at home and at work to ensure their safety and that of their loved ones.”

SEMO’s traditional hurricane safety message comes in advance of the Atlantic hurricane/coastal storm season in the Empire State which runs from June 1 through November 30. “We are doing everything possible as a State to ensure that our response capabilities are as robust as possible,” Gibb said. “While local and State agencies continue to hone those capabilities, every resident in this State has a responsibility to develop and practice plans to protect themselves and their families and property.” A community’s level of preparedness begins with the individual.

“New Yorkers should know what they and their families should do in the event of a storm or an emergency, and that includes having emergencies supplies on hand such as flashlights and batteries, and water and canned goods,” Gibb said.
New Yorkers also should be aware of current weather conditions by monitoring NOAA Weather Radio and local media reports and broadcasts. “You need to have accurate information to protect yourself and your loved ones, and the best
way to get emergency information is by subscribing to NY‐ALERT, the State’s all‐hazards alert and notification system,” Gibb said. To subscribe to this free, web‐based system, visit www.nyalert.gov.

SEMO is a co‐sponsor of the 17th annual Long Island‐New York City Emergency Management Conference scheduled June 2‐3 at the Long Island Hilton in Melville. Conference topics will examine a wide range of emergency situations from technological to natural disasters and address the response by local and national first responders. Other conference partners are National Grid, the Long Island Power Authority, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, and the emergency management offices of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The SEMO Director urged New Yorkers to take the following actions to develop a family plan:

• Know how to contact all family members at all times. Identify an out‐of‐town friend or family member to be the “emergency family contact.” Then make certain all family members have that number.
• Designate a family emergency meeting point, some familiar location where the family can meet in the event the home is inaccessible.
• Prepare an emergency phone list of people and organizations that may need to be called, including schools, doctors, child/senior care providers, and insurance agents.
• Know the hurricane / storm risks in their areas, and learn the storm surge history.
• Learn their community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
• Stock up on emergency supplies, non‐perishable food and water.
• Make arrangements on where to relocate pets during a storm.
• Have your family learn basic safety and first aid measures. If you can, stock up on prescribed medicines and have supplies for persons with special needs such as the elderly and infirm.
• Practice the Plan!

For more information on hurricane preparedness and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, visit the SEMO website at http://www.semo.state.ny.us.

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