Updated 02/28/2013 04:49 PM
Community resilience strategy announced
More than one half of Americans are not prepared for a natural disaster. That's according to the American Red Cross. Now, several organizations in Central New York are coming together to make sure everyone is prepared. Our Katie Gibas tells us about their plan and what it means for you.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For those who experienced Superstorm Sandy firsthand, there's just one word to describe the destruction.
"Sandy was a very sobering experience. We've seen complete households blown away," said John Beaudoin, a National Grid Sales and Support Manager.
While Central New York was spared the wrath of Sandy, for many, it was a wakeup call that a natural disaster can happen here. In fact, nearly 21 million adults in the U.S. were affected by disasters in the last decade. That's five times more than in the 90s.
"We think it's a little snow, it's a little rain, but we've seen floods can come fast and furious," said Rosie Taravella, the American Red Cross CNY CEO.
Kevin Wisely, the Onondaga County Emergency Management Commissioner added, "Ice is a very big hazard for us. Those types of things. The late 90s, we had the major ice storm in the North Country, and some folks were out of power for a long period of time.
That's why several community organizations have partnered for a Community Resilience Strategy to make sure people are prepared in an emergency. The Red Cross says right now, more than half of Americans don't have a disaster plan or kit.
"These are the sort of things that if you think about it ahead of time and maybe even have some drills with your family and your neighborhood, you'll be prepared when it happens," said Taravella.
Community organizers are asking everyone to go on CNYprepare.org and fill out the survey about your own preparedness. Phase two of the project will be rolling out the best ways to help the entire community be disaster ready.
"This partnership will help us begin to assess how our citizens are prepared and what we can do to help them better prepare. And then begin to build on some training, build on some community support organizations and community volunteer organizations that can help during times of disaster," said Wisley.
Organizers hope to have that plan rolled out by fall.
Organizations in the partnership include the Red Cross, National Grid, the Food Bank of Central New York, the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management and the county health department.