Ready Rockaway Hosts Hurricane Irene Retrospective
On September 6 Ready Rockaway hosted “Hurricane Irene Then & Now” at the Knights of Columbus, an event open to the Rockaway community, exploring the progress we’ve made as a community in terms of emergency preparedness a year after Rockaway’s first mandatory evacuation. Approximately 70 community members were in attendance. The Rockaway Youth Task Force members served as volunteers for the event, distributing emergency preparedness outreach materials to those in attendance.
Speakers at the event included State Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, Councilman James Sanders Chief of Staff Donavan Richards, Ready Rockaway Co-Chair Michael Valentino, NYC Department of Health Susan Miller, NYC OEM, Mordy Goldfeder, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Rockaway Team Chief Donna Gueren.
“Emergency preparedness plans for the community are the biggest kept secret,” said group spokesperson Zandra Myers. “Prior to Hurricane Irene there were plans, but how many in the community knew what the plans were and how they affected them. Post Hurricane Irene, agencies have been working hard to make the plans even more capable. Still how many in the community know what’s going on. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to have his or her own personal/family plan. Take care of yourselves! The hospitals will take care of their patients. They have professional emergency preparedness managers who drill on diverse disasters frequently. I’m sure nursing homes will receive funding to train their people making for professionals on that level. It’s the average community resident I am concerned about. The mentality that someone will take care of you and rescue you if need be. Our first responders are awesome and well trained. But when an evacuation order is given you must follow YOUR plan and remove yourself from harms way.”