On November 18, 2014, an unprecedented lake effect snowstorm dumped as much as eight feet of snow on parts of Western New York. Travelers were stranded in their vehicles as roads were closed, and thousands of residents were unable to leave their homes. Red Cross volunteers operated or supported 19 shelters providing over 600 overnight stays, served over 6,600 meals and snacks, distributed nearly 4,00 relief items including cleanup and personal comfort kits, and provided over a thousand health and mental health contacts to provide relief to Western New Yorkers affected by this historic storm.
As the one-year anniversary of “Snowvember 2014”approaches, the Red Cross is urging everyone to prepare for the next disaster. In partnership with New York State, the Red Cross is offering free Citizen Preparedness Corps training to provide residents with the knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies and disasters, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible.
“What happened in Western New York a year ago is an unfortunate reminder that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, often without warning,” said Rosie Taravella, Western and Central New York Regional CEO. “In an emergency situation, every second counts. Being prepared ahead of time can make the all the difference, and the Red Cross is proud to partner with New York State to provide this potentially life-saving information.”
The Citizen Preparedness Corps presentation, entitled Prepare, Respond Recover: What to do When Disaster Strike, is a one-hour, interactive program presented by a specially-trained Red Cross volunteer, providing an comprehensive overview on how to prepare for natural and man-made disasters, and how to respond to and recover from them. The training also provides information on common types of disasters, ways to prepare as an individual, family and community member, and what to do when disaster strikes.
Citizen Preparedness Corps trainings that will be open to the public are currently scheduled at the following dates, times and locations:
· Tuesday, November 17, 6pm
North Syracuse Junior High School
5353 West Taft Road, North Syracuse, NY 13212
Co-hosted by NYS Assemblyman Al Stirpe
· Wednesday, November 18, 5:30pm
Old First Ward Community Center
62 Republic Street, Buffalo, NY 14204
Co-Hosted by NYS Senator Tim Kennedy
· Wednesday, December 2, 5:30pm
West Seneca CERT, Office of Disaster Preparedness
90 Mill Road, West Seneca, NY 14224
Co-hosted by NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan
All in-person class participants before March 31, 2016 will be entered to win one of two free deluxe emergency kits per month. To schedule a free Citizen Preparedness Corps presentation at a school, business or other organization, contact James Segerson at 585-241-4405 or email@example.com.
A free, 15 minute online version of the Citizen Preparedness Corps training is also available at http://prepare.ny.gov/online-citizen-preparedness-training.