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New York National Guard to Offer Disaster Preparedness Classes

The event is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s continuing Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program.

by Mark Boshnack, The Daily Star / August 5, 2015
Members of the Army National Guard load trucks as they prepare to hand out supplies to people in need ih response to Hurricane Sandy in Far Rockaway, N.Y. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released

(TNS) - New York National Guard troops will be giving free disaster preparedness classes at Sidney High School from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Sidney Central School Superintendent Bill Christensen said state Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Clifford Crouch have helped bring the project to Sidney. The Guard worked in partnership with the village, town and county to make it possible, and the school agreed to host the session after discussions with Sidney Mayor Andrew Matviak, Christensen said.

The event is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s continuing Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program, which gives citizens the knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions, according to a media release.

Working with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and local emergency management personnel, troops are conducting these training events across the state.

Following the 2011 flooding, the school hosted community meetings and related events to help in recovery, Christensen said. In light of that and previous flooding, including in 2006, this is an opportunity to help the area and inform people about how to be prepared if it happens again, he said.

Since the program’s launch in early February 2014, troops have held more than 380 events statewide, and taught over 38,169 citizens how to be better prepared for emergencies and disasters.

Designed by the state Division of Homeland Security, it covers a broad range of emergency-preparedness topics, like developing a family emergency plan, stocking up on emergency supplies, and registering for NY-Alert, the free statewide emergency alert system.

Matviak encouraged all residents to attend. The village has periodically been hit by devastating flooding, he said. This will help people be better prepared if it happens again.

Participants will receive a training certificate, a wallet-sized “Z-Card” with emergency preparedness information, and a free Citizen Preparedness Starter Kit (one per family). It includes a first-aid kit, face mask, pocket radio with batteries, food bars, emergency blanket and other key items to help citizens in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The classes include information about what other supplies and items citizens should add to their kits.

More information on the program including registration is available at www.prepare.ny.gov/training-events.

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