We live in an unpredictable world. Storms, power loss and other natural disasters are just a few of the curveballs life can throw at us. In most cases, being prepared can go a long way toward mitigating the impact of these unexpected occurrences. As a father and legislator, I have always advocated for the highest standards of public safety. In March, I signed a letter with 17 of my Assembly colleagues urging the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to issue a report required by recent legislation on the feasibility of updating tornado warning systems. In fact, just this June residents of the Finger Lakes Region witnessed the damage tornados can unleash when one touched down in Ontario County. In that vein, I would like to remind everyone that September is National Preparedness Month.
Now is a great time to inventory your home’s emergency supplies, check the batteries in your flashlights, and talk to your family members about what to do in case of an emergency. By taking a little time now to review your emergency readiness you can save a lot of trouble later. More information can be found at http://www.ready.gov/september.
MAKING A PLAN GOES A LONG WAY
Each family should work toward a plan that addresses the many considerations that arise during an emergency. Children, the elderly or infirm and even pets may require different care. You can find some helpful tips for preparing members of your family with unique needs at the New York State Department of Health. Planning routes to local emergency shelters, hospitals and alternate roads in case of closures can make a big difference during weather-related emergencies.
Another great way to be prepared is to consider becoming part of the NYS Citizen Preparedness Corps. Training courses offered by the Corps are the result of a partnership between New York State and the Red Cross. By participating, you will learn critical information about preparation for both natural and man-made disasters and will be in a better position to help those in your community should an emergency arise. Visit the Red Cross information page and http://prepare.ny.gov/ for information about the NYS Citizen Preparedness Corps.
TOGETHER WE WILL OVERCOME ANY EMERGENCY
We hope we will never need to use our emergency plans, but when we do, we will be glad we made them. There are a number of state and local agencies, organizations and offices that can provide information and resources. Please take time this September to take advantage of these potentially lifesaving tools.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, e-mail me at email@example.com, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.