Preparing for disasters and responding to emergency events requires collaboration and coordination among local, State and federal authorities; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector, as well as skilled first responders and a network of civilians ready to help their fellow citizens during an emergency. The Governor’s proposals include:
World-Class Emergency Response Network: The state will create uniform training and protocols for all emergency personnel, including a SUNY/CUNY program certificate for all emergency workers in the state.
Specialized Training for the National Guard: To build on the vital role that the National Guard plays in emergency response, the Governor proposed providing additional specialized training in key emergency response areas like power restoration, search-and-rescue, heavy equipment operation, crowd management and public safety where the Guard’s scale, skills and equipment can have a unique and powerful impact on restoring power faster, saving lives and other critical areas.
Statewide Volunteer Network: To capitalize on New York's spirit of volunteerism, the Governor proposed creating a Statewide Volunteer Network to mobilize and organize volunteers based on their skills, interests and resources.
Civilian Emergency Response Corps: To ensure that the necessary skills and expertise are available and can be mobilized to effectively support rapid restoration of essential services and infrastructure, the Governor proposed a Civilian Emergency Response Corps made up of technical and trades personnel—including electricians, pipefitters, line workers, landscapers, public works personnel, civil engineers and debris removal tradespeople—who can be trained, certified, credentialed and deployed to perform disaster response and recovery related tasks as part of a well-coordinated public/private-sector partnership.
Private Sector Emergency Response Task Force: The Governor proposed creating a standing task force made up of chief logistics officers from key industry sectors that will create a plan in advance for the distribution of food, water and other supplies and execute the plan in a declared emergency.
Citizen Education Campaign: The campaign would focus on preparing all New Yorkers as "in-house first responders."
Ensure that Vulnerable Populations Can Receive Help in an Emergency: The use of voluntary and effective Vulnerable Population databases will be expanded so first responders, outreach workers, and healthcare and human services personnel can find and serve those who may need assistance before, during, and after emergencies, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions.
Communicating with New Yorkers in an Emergency: Cell phone networks and other communications systems must be strengthened to ensure that first responders and citizens never lose the ability to communicate fully and instantly. In addition, New York will develop a program to allow mass text messages to be sent to all wireless phones in a chosen geographic area. In addition, the State will explore establishing a one-stop disaster recovery communications hub that is integrated with social networking, mobile messaging and chat tools—using all available means to reach New Yorkers.