Over the past year, the American Red Cross has been working with community and government partners across the Greater New York region to strengthen its capacity to respond to large-scale disasters. As a result of these collaborations, the Red Cross has placed nearly 40 of mobile trailers stocked with tens of thousands of additional relief items across its region.
On Staten Island, thanks to the help of New York State Assembly Member Michael Cusick and the College of Staten Island (CSI), the Red Cross has placed additional relief trailers on CSI’s campus.
"I am happy to have worked with the American Red Cross in helping bring new emergency relief trailers to Staten Island,” Assembly Member Michael Cusick said. “I would also like to thank the College of Staten Island for partnering with the Red Cross to provide this much needed resource for future emergencies. Hurricane Sandy showed us the importance of emergency preparedness; these trailers are another step in the right direction for the people of Staten Island in the event of another disaster."
The trailers, stocked with critical items including blankets, flashlights, crank radios and cell chargers, as well as cleanup kits, work gloves, shovels, rakes, detergent and tarps, will be mobilized in the event of a large-scale disaster on Staten Island. These new relief items housed in mobile trailers which can be brought directly into impacted areas when needed, supplement existing disaster relief supplies already strategically placed by the Red Cross.
“Building ties with the residents, elected officials and government agencies of Staten Island in order to provide service and leadership to our community is a keystone of CSI’s mission,” said Dr. William J. Fritz, President of CSI, as well as a renowned geologist who has been at the forefront of providing data-driven decision making tools to city and state governments and launching a comprehensive campaign to educate vulnerable populations and the agencies that serve them. “Our students, faculty, and staff played a resounding role in the aftermath of Sandy, and our continued collaborations as we enter into a new era of awareness and preparedness for the next storm is a natural progression of our commitment. I am grateful to Greater NY Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and all our elected officials for their leadership, and am proud that CSI has partnered with the Red Cross on this important initiative.”
"When dealing with an oncoming natural disaster, one of the primary challenges is identifying a safe and appropriate location to keep emergency supplies like food, water, and medication that won't be destroyed by the storm,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. “With sites in the flood zones not suitable for this type of storage, it was important to identify a mid-Island location at higher elevation that would not be affected by a storm surge. This collaboration between the American Red Cross and the College of Staten Island is a concrete step in preparing our community for the worst."
“These supplies are going to be a cornerstone of Staten Island’s resiliency in the face of future storms,” Council Member Steven Matteo said. “After Sandy, the flow of supplies was slow to start, and the closure of the bridges during the storm itself was a major complicating factor. By having this trailer on Staten Island, the response to the needs of victims will be nearly immediate.”
In addition to readying the community for a large-scale incident, the Red Cross and its partners also urge residents to take the necessary steps to prepare for any disaster.
“Preparedness is critical when it comes to life-threatening disasters such as hurricanes,” said Josh Lockwood, Greater NY Red Cross Region CEO. “It’s important that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and download the Red Cross Hurricane App to help make it through the next storm safely.”
A 2013 survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel found that few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. Only about half of those surveyed have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they are separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.
Hurricanes are powerful, dangerous storms. They can bring heavy rains that cause major flooding, destructive winds that down power lines, uproot trees and damage homes, and storm surges that travel several miles inland destroying everything in their path.
The Red Cross and Staten Island officials urge everyone to get better prepared for this hurricane season:
Learn more about the Red Cross visit, www.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/gny or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.
About the College of Staten Island:
The College of Staten Island is a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY) offering associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. CSI is home to a School of Business, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, The Verrazano School Honors Program, the Teacher Education Honors Academy, and is a select campus of the Macaulay Honors College University Scholars program.