Two floods in five years tested many in the Southern Tier and going forward, some think it could happen again. If it does, will you be ready? Broome County wants to make sure you are. YNN's Chris Whalen tells us how they're helping citizens prepare for the worst.
VESTAL, N.Y. --Binghamton University Events Center, September 2012: A far different scene than Binghamton University Events Center, September 2011.
One year ago, the facility was temporary home to more than 1,600 people who were evacuated after Tropical Storm Lee. In its halls Wednesday were dozens of professionals making sure that if another disaster strikes, Broome County's residents are ready.
"The key to any disaster is being prepared. Even in 2011, it was much better than in 2006. We learned a lot in 2006, but still we need to prepare ourselves even more," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
The flood of 2006 prepared many Broome County residents for when disaster would strike again in September of 2011, but one demographic that wasn't entirely sure what to do were students. Many that attend the area's three colleges are from out of town and those organizing the preparedness fair want to make sure they know what to do in the event of another emergency.
"Having a plan to begin with, preparing, whether it's knowing their exits in their house, knowing where the good neighbors are that they can go to that can help, knowing about if there's a hurricane, this is what we do, if there's a flood these are local shelters," said Lieutenant Madeline Bay of the New York State University Police.
You should also have several items at the ready. There should be enough food and water to last you for at least 72 hours, flashlights and batteries are also essential. These things might be part of any disaster kit, but others aren't always on a rushed and worried mind.
"Things like birth certificates, drivers licenses, passports, IDs, you want to keep all these things all together, at least copies of these things, so in the event you have to leave your house in a rush, you don't lose these things in the event of a fire or a flood," said Charles Schmitz of the American Red Cross.
Emergencies everyone hopes to avoid in the future, but will now be ready to handle if they happen again.