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Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program launches

ALBANY – The Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program that will train approximately 100,000 New Yorkers during 2014 in the proper preparation for emergencies or disasters launched on Monday. The program seeks to provide citizens with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced the launch of a new website www.prepare.ny.gov, to serve as the digital home for the Citizen Preparedness Corps community. The website will offer information about additional trainings, disaster preparedness tips, and ways to volunteer your skills in the event of a disaster.

“We want our state's citizens to be the most prepared in the nation for natural disasters as we continue to reimagine New York for a new reality,” said Cuomo. “Our first responders displayed incredible skill and dedication during Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy. Through the Citizen Preparedness Corps, New Yorkers will also be better prepared to help their communities. Our goal of training 100,000 New Yorkers to be their own first responder in their communities will make New York even more equipped to face future challenges.”

An outpouring of volunteers attended the first Citizen Preparedness Corps training sessions, with attendance at more than 600 people in Staten Island and 600 people in Suffolk County.

The trainings, along with future ones, were led by the New York National Guard who worked with experts from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and 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 Broadcast System. 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.

Each volunteer received a 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.

Every training participant (one per family) will receive a free Citizen Preparedness Corps Response Starter Kit, which includes:

• Plastic drop cloth
• Light stick
• (2) D Batteries
• First Aid Kit
• Face mask
• Safety goggles
• AM/FM pocket radio with batteries
• (6) packs of drinking water
• (6) food bars
• Regular flashlight
• Emergency blanket
• Duct tape
• Work gloves
• Water bottle