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Neighbor to Neighbor: Boro residents have chance at readiness program

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I've had some good and some bad. Frankly, I'd rather be prepared. If you agree (and I hope you do), please volunteer to learn about being a leader with a group anxious to help you prepare to help yourself, your family and your community.The folks who are willing to help you - and to do so free - are the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the Empowerment Institute and Citizens for NYC, all of whom have partnered to form the Ready New York All Together Now campaign.Successful pilot projects have already taken place. During 2005, the program is being expanded, eventually to include the entire city. Training cannot, of course, take place all at once. We are, therefore, very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate on a priority basis.On March 3, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall introduced those who are leading this effort: Joseph F. Bruno, commissioner, New York Office of Emergency Management; David Gershon, CEO Empowerment Institute; Michael Clerk, president, Citizens for NYC; and Richard Brouillette, Citizens for NYC preparedness coordinator.At that meeting, we were given a general outline of the program and heard from some of the participants in the pilot projects who had found them to be very informative and instrumental in cementing close relationships with neighbors. There will be one more get-acquainted meeting for the All Together Now campaign. That meeting will take place in Manhattan, March 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Citizens for NYC, 305 7th Ave., between 27th and 28th streets (15th Floor). Registration begins at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.It should be noted that the All Together Now program's purpose is not only to prepare a team of neighbors or a single household to take practical actions necessary to be prepared for any emergency, but components provide special support for seniors, people with disabilities and pets. For more information on the All Together Now program, visit www.empowermentinstitute.net/atn.All that having been said, if you are ready, willing and able to want to learn more about protecting yourself and those around you in case of a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, or an energy disruption, you should have the following qualifications for this program: Be dedicated; reliable; organized; a self-starter; a good communicator; available evenings and weekends; and have access to a computer and phone.You should recruit two deputy emergency leaders to assist with recruiting. Since space is very limited, your three-person team must submit an enrollment form super fast - hopefully, at the March 23 meeting, or call Richard Brouillette at 212-989-0909. You will be notified no later than March 28, if you will be accepted for enrollment in one of the two 2005 training sessions - either April 9 or Sept. 24. Preparedness leaders and deputies should bear in mind that they must commit to 50 hours over six months, or about two hours per week, all of which can be shared between two deputies.The actions you will learn to take in preparing for emergencies, natural disasters and terrorism will include: Creating an evacuation kit; preparing a first-aid kit; preparing for your medical needs; developing an evacuation plan; preparing for dangerously high temperatures; preparing for hazardous materials and chemical spills; and preparing mentally for an emergency or terrorist attack.The actions you will learn to take in preparing for energy disruptions will include how to plan for three days' food supply; securing your basic water needs; developing alternative heating sources; developing alternative cooking sources; developing alternative lighting sources; getting a battery or hand-cranked radio; backup emergency communication plan; living without electricity for a period of time.Be ready, New York. The Citizens for NYC are All Together Now! Do your part right. Don't be left out. Stay safe. We need you.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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