ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) —September is National Preparedness Month. After New York and surrounding states were hit with multiple natural disasters, Governor Kathy Hochul has been encouraging New Yorkers…particularly older New Yorkers, to attend emergency preparedness training, especially since bad weather can hit at a moment’s notice.
“We are beyond the point of wondering if we’re gonna have bad weather events, power outages, snow storms,” Greg Olsen, Director of the NYS Office of Aging, said. “We are literally tracking Hurricane Lee as we speak.”
Right now, there are more than 4 million people over the age of 60 and 4.1 million people who care for someone else. And the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Services want them all to know what to do in an emergency.
“Because we know something is coming,” Captain Kevin Valenti, Citizen Preparedness Corp, said. “We don’t know what’s coming. We don’t know when. We don’t know where. However, we gotta do our part to be prepared.”
That’s why the state has been offering free emergency preparedness courses. After the training, each participant received a backpack filled with essential supplies for the next emergency—items like goggles, work gloves, a radio, and an emergency blanket. The training also reviewed what else to include in an emergency supply kit and that it’s better to start shopping now and not wait until it’s too late.
“Because of everything that’s going on in the world,” Paulette Holland, one of the attendees, said. “Basically, what you’re seeing and hearing, we needed a good reminder.”
Joanne Frangella also attended the training, and she says she was happy she registered.
“I live alone. With my two cats,” Fragella said. “Most of my direct family lives overseas right now.”
Leon Williams says after experiencing severe weather in the capital region, he wanted to ensure that he and his family were more prepared for next time.
“I wanted to keep my skill sets up to date,” he said. “So this was just an excellent opportunity to do so.”
These trainings will be offered across the state. To find a registration link and the nearest location, visit www.nyprepare.gov.