Assemblymember Cusick: Be Aware and Prepared For Disasters by Signing Up for NY-Alert

August 14, 2009
Unexpected disasters can destroy communities and devastate families. Whether itís a natural emergency like high winds, flooding or an ice storm, or itís a man-made threat, the more information we have the better we can respond to emergencies. Thatís why I encourage all Staten Island residents to sign up for NY-Alert, a program that is part of New York Stateís ongoing commitment to providing New Yorkers with information that keeps them aware of threats and emergency situations and instructs them how to respond accordingly.

Signing up for NY-Alert is free. By doing so, you will receive warnings and emergency information, including road closures, inclement weather events and terrorist alerts issued by New York State and local governments. Information can be sent to you via your cell phone, your home phone, e-mail and other technologies. You can list up to three phone numbers, two e-mail addresses and three cell phones to receive text messages. Receiving alerts through these modern, high-tech devices accelerates communication, which allows you to be aware of any perilous events that may be affecting your community in a faster and more convenient way.

In addition, once you sign up for NY-Alert, you will also be able to customize locations, types of emergencies and the threat level, from minor to extreme, you would like to receive information about. Most alerts are issued by your county or local municipality. Every emergency is different and alerts are tailored to meet the notification needs of each incident.

We all have a responsibility to keep our families and communities protected when alarming situations occur. Emergency-response personnel are trained to respond quickly and effectively, but every communityís level of preparedness starts with individuals being aware and informed. NY-Alert helps serve that purpose. It is designed to expedite critical and lifesaving information in times of emergency, which can mean the difference between life and death.

To sign up for NY-Alert, go to www.nyalert.gov or call (888) 697-6972. For more information on how to deal with emergencies, contact my office at (718) 370-1384 and ask to receive my Coping with Disasters brochure.