BY JON CRONIN
The Citizen Preparedness Corp conducted a disaster readiness class at last Saturday’s Woodhaven Residents Block Association hosted at the Emanuel United Church of Christ.
Army Staff Sergeat Gaspar Teri III, a graduate Richmond Hill High School, taught part of the course which emphasized education and preparedness in case of a natural or manmade disaster.
The program is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative which began in 2014 and aimed to train over 100,000. Teri said they have reached that goal and now aim for over 250,000.
Sergeant Ed Metcalf said this course could even aid in the event of a space weather disaster, which would most likely be a solar flare that interferes with the communication of satellites and our cell phones. New York is prone to events like flooding, construction errors, or terrorism. He said he considers the city at high risk. He did note the caveat that if anyone asks him about the zombie apocalypse, he would not answer them.
Metcalf recommends that people sit down with all members of the household and construct an exit plan from the house in case of disaster and designate a meet up location away from the home.
Metcalf, who was also a fireman during the 9/11 attack, said he was out of contact with his family while at Ground Zero for 13 hours while cell phones were down. He said the only message a friend could get through was “I saw Ed…” before the family answering machine cut him off. He recommends that when area cell towers go down, a family should designate someone from out of state as communication point.
He recommends to have in the house a NOAA Radio for wireless emergency alerts and to sign for alert notifications on your mobile device at iAlertz.com.
Metcalf described a list of necessary items to aid a family in the event of an emergency. The list entails sustainment, hygiene and tools. Under sustainment, he listed; seven to 10 days of non-perishable food, water purification tablets, seven to 10 day supply of water (one gallon per person per day), collapsible water container, read-to-eat canned food, candy, eating utensils, energy bars and a can opener. For a complete list of the kit go toprepare.ny.gov.
Metcalf added, “Always pack duct tape.”
He also recommends becoming licensed in CPR and in trained for the implementation of a defibrillator. The defibrillator course, he claims is now so simple it only takes 18 minutes.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin