Serrano Attends Disaster Preparedness Event

José M. Serrano

August 23, 2008

Senator Serrano attended a Saturday afternoon disaster preparedness fair at 1199 Plaza, a large housing complex in East Harlem. The event provided residents with vital resources from community organizations and government agencies.

"I want the 28th Senate District to be a model of preparedness," said the Senator. "The more we contemplate, plan and practice, the safer we'll be. This requires a concerted effort, by families and communities, working together, to ensure relief in the aftermath of a disaster."

He noted that his district is particularly vulnerable to bad weather. "Look at the map and it's clear that areas like Roosevelt Island, East Harlem and the South Bronx are low-lying and coastal," he said. "Category 2, 3 and 4 hurricanes would generate dangerous levels of storm surge flooding."

He added: "This remains something of a remote threat – hurricanes are unlikely in our city – but you can never be too sure, and you can never be too prepared."

Also present at the event were trained members of East Harlem's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and representatives from the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

OEM recommends that households develop and practice a disaster plan, which includes: identifying places to meet near your home as well as outside of your neighborhood; designating an out-of-state friend or relative to call if family members are separated during a disaster; planning for the needs of seniors, people with disabilities, children and pets; and making sure your home is properly insured.