New York State has had its fair share of emergency events over the last few years. As our Erin Connolly explains, the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission is learning from the past to be prepared for the future.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- ALBANY, N.Y. -- From Irene and Lee and Superstorm Sandy to the tornado in Elmira and the structure fire in Ghent, it's been a busy few years for emergency management agencies. And with that in mind, the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission is making sure it's ready for anything.
Jerome Hauer, the NYS DPC Chair, said, "When the Governor took office, he made it very clear that one of his highest priorities was to ensure the state was prepared to respond to any type of incident, whether it was natural or manmade."
The commission comprised of leaders of 28 state agencies and the American Red Cross met in Albany Wednesday to discuss a variety of topics, including the threat of the current hurricane season.
David DeMatteo, the NYS OEM Planning Section Chief, said, "We're not out of the woods yet. We're certainly out of the high threshold for the likelihood and probability of getting a severe coastal storm. But last year, Sandy made landfall in October, so we're not done yet."
Also on the agenda, the impact of the shopping mall siege in Nairobi, Kenya and general homeland security concerns.
Hauer said, "The Mideast is a dynamic place and is extremely unstable now. The hostilities there can't be ignored. And anything that goes on there has repercussions here."
And while the recent past has been challenging, officials say they're better prepared now than ever before.
DeMatteo said, "You really can't become a seasoned mariner by sailing smooth seas."
As New Yorkers continue to navigate the road to recovery, we all must be prepared for potential rough seas in the future.
The commission is required to meet twice a year. This year, they've already met five times and will have at least one more meeting in 2013.