The night of September 1, 2021 continues to haunt the head of Aylin Bendoyro. The Peruvian mother was one of the thousands of victims who lost everything with the fierce storm that brought to New York the passage of Hurricane Idawhen he was able to drown with his son in the basement of 88th Street and 25th Avenue in Elmhurst, in Queens, the county most affected by the torrential downpour. A total of 13 people, one of them a baby, died underwater in their apartments in the city, and 16 were counted statewide.
And two years after disaster caused by Idaalthough the victim of the storm, which literally left her without her own home for more than 17 months, is rebuilding her life in a building where she was relocated by the City, she assures that she still feels that New York has not learned enough and fears that if Mother Nature does her thing again, the Big Apple will not be prepared to avoid new tragedies and face it. emergencies on a large scale.
“The fear is always, especially because I have seen with my own eyes how in parts of the city that were under water like in my old house, things have not improved. A few weeks ago there was a terrible rain, which was not a hurricane, and the water flooded the streets in Queens. My niece, who still lives in the basement, was very nervous and so was I,” said the migrant, who asked the authorities to, in addition to promoting action and preparation plans, move forward. infrastructure and prevention works.
“We are not prepared. That is the harsh reality. The City needs to expand the sewer system, not just clean it. You also need to go to the basements where people live to make sure there are no risks. A neighbor’s entire basement flooded and no one talks about it,” added the mother of the family. “The climate is having many changes and “They need to do more maintenance and supervision work.”
Juan Martinezwho lives in a Long Island City basement expresses a similar sentiment and confesses that he has never heard of any emergency related preparedness plan.
“The idea of another hurricane scares. Last time everything flooded, but it wasn’t as bad as others who even lost their lives, but if something like this or something worse happened again, the truth is the only thing I could do is run away, and I think that It is not a real preparation,” commented the young Latino.
“No one from the City has ever come to check the basement. and a few days ago when it rained heavily, water managed to enter. We are at risk all the time “And more than putting things on social networks, it would be good if they launched a plan where they told us where to go, or that they launched a prior alarm, something, because with the polluted air they came to talk about the issue late,” the Hispanic stated.
Despite the complaints and concerns of New Yorkers after the memory of Ida and before possible hurricaneschanges in temperatures, air quality, intense rains and the effects of climate change, the authorities not only insist that they are improving their preparation for possible emergencies but that are committed to educating communities so they know how to act and how to prevent tragedies.
Part of these tasks are being carried out by the Office of Emergency Management from the city, which has a series of activities this month in which citizens can get involved in the different thematic preparation events they have planned. The goal is that during the so-called National Preparedness Month, New Yorkers will be equipped with the necessary tools to prepare their families, pets, businesses and communities to be able to react to any emergency, with the campaign “Take control in 1, 2. 3″.
“It is incredibly exciting to kick off National Preparedness Month, a time when New York City Emergency Management will highlight a variety of initiatives aimed at preparing New Yorkers for any type of emergency,” he said. New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Throughout September, we will host events, share invaluable resources, and partner with various organizations to provide critical information to the public.”
Through workshops, groups of emergency management experts specialized in disaster preparedness and response will offer advice and recommendations, with programs such as NYC CERT and Ready NY.
“These initiatives aim to provide valuable resources, training and information to New Yorkers, amplifying our collective preparedness for any challenge that lies ahead,” the City warned.
From the State Administration, they have also declared their commitment to the fight against emergencies, and when mentioning the expansion of the emergency preparedness training program for people and communities, they warned that in 2023 they are focusing their efforts on older adults.
The State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, The New York National Guard and the Office for the Aging will be offering readiness training programs throughout September.
“When it comes to being prepared for an emergency, New York State has your back, this National Preparedness Month and every month,” he said. Governor Hochul. “If you are an older adult or care for older adults, emergency preparedness planning is especially important and I encourage all New Yorkers to attend an upcoming Citizen Preparedness Corps training near you.”
Aylin Bendoyro lost everything with Hurricane Ida
And in their desire to be better prepared for eventualities, the State calls on New Yorkers to not only attend preparedness courses, but also to sign up for NY-Alert, New York’s free emergency alert system.
The Government He also warned that entities such as the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services conduct year-round assessments of stored resources that could be deployed before, during and after a tropical storm, including generators, lighting towers, water pumps. , sandbags, cots, blankets and water, while coordinating the state agency response with pre-preparedness teams, personnel and other resources that may also be deployed during the course of a tropical storm event.
The Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) supports response to tropical storms and hurricane flooding, the Disaster Recovery Unit works on the ground to assess damage after a storm in order to maximize federal disaster assistance for affected communities, the New York offers all-hazards training to New Yorkers, encouraging residents to create emergency plans. The New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps (CPC) hosts sessions for the public with information on how to build an emergency kit and offers sample disaster kits, a program available online in 13 languages, in which more have participated of 365,000 New Yorkers.
Jackie Braycommissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, emphasized the call for planning and asked all New Yorkers to dedicate a few hours of their time to prepare, in order to better respond to eventualities.
“When a disaster strikes, it is important for all New Yorkers to have a plan. Make it a priority this month to develop your family’s emergency plan and remember to take additional steps to ensure that your children, older family members and pets are prepared for any type of emergency that requires an evacuation,” the official mentioned.
The director of the Office for New York State Seniors, Greg Olsenplaced special emphasis on seniors preparing and documenting ways to act in emergencies, so that they can be more protected.
“Training will be essential because older adults face greater risks during disasters, especially if they are socially isolated, have low income or have a disability,” Olsen commented. “The safety of New Yorkers remains a top priority and the crucial work the Citizens Preparedness Corps is doing across the state is a prime example.”
How to prepare for emergencies
- For those interested in learning more about emergency preparedness tools visit nyc.gov/ready and nyc.gov/cert.
- Additionally, the Office of Emergency Management is hosting several events throughout September to help New Yorkers prepare. Visit this site for dates and locations. NYC.gov/NPM
- In addition to attending a preparedness course in September, officials urge you to sign up for NY-Alert, the state’s free emergency alert system.
- For those who cannot participate in in-person or online training, these steps are recommended for effective preparation:
- Develop a plan: Have a plan for what to do at home and know the plans at work, school, and anywhere you and your family spend time.
- Create an emergency contact list for friends and family, both local and out of town, and identify places you can go besides your home in case of an emergency.
- Make an emergency supply kit: You should be prepared to do it yourself for at least 10 days after a disaster. In an emergency, everyday services such as electricity, heating, air conditioning or telephones may not work. Learn about and collect tools and supplies for your kit.
- Be aware: Pay attention to the news and know your surroundings. Learn about resources that can give you up-to-date information during an emergency, like NY-Alert, the state’s free all-hazard alert and notification system
- Get involved: Before an emergency, receiving training from recognized volunteer disaster organizations, such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, can increase your own ability to help others when they need it most.
- In a disaster, it is always best to wait for instructions from local officials or check with specific organizations before going straight to volunteering.
- For more information, visit https://dhses.ny.gov/safety.
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