Free public training for disasters and emergencies at Events Center

By Kelly McCarthy

March 13, 2014 Updated Mar 14, 2014 at 7:51 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Governor Andrew Cuomo's office will be in the Southern Tier this weekend and wants you to join them for a free disaster preparedness training program.

The Southern Tier Citizen Preparedness Corps Training is Saturday, 10 a.m. at the Binghamton University Events Center.

In his January State of the State Address, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wants to train one hundred thousand New Yorkers this year to be ready for any type of disaster.

"So people know how to provide services in their own home," Cuomo said, "For their own family, and then they can be helpful on their own block and on their own community."

The Citizen Preparedness Corps Training program is ready to train hundreds of community members at the Binghamton University Events Center.

"Because we know that in many instances individuals in a household are literally the first responders," said Jim Sherry, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security, "Or the first people aware at an incident."

The National Guard will lead the training and educate people on natural disasters, man-made disasters, and technological disasters.

"What would you do if the phone didn't work?" said Thomas McCartney, Regional Director of the New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, "What would you do if the power wasn't there for you?"

"You know we have so many modern conveniences," Sherry said, "So many modern conveniences, and when you rely too heavily on them and on the electronic world, the physical world can be quite brutal."

New York is considered a "high risk" profile when it comes to emergency response and disasters. Delaware County has had the most Presidential-declared disasters in the state with 22 disasters.

"We want to have a better prepared community," McCartney said, "A better prepared response community and just better prepared people to handle these disasters."

A classroom-based training day will give people the tools to prepare their own home before disaster strikes.

"So really what we're asking people to do is to take the time on the calm days and make preparedness a priority," Sherry said, "And to think through what it is you would want to have if you didn't have the modern conveniences that are so tied to the power grid."

In case the Southern Tier is home to future flooding or other disasters and emergencies.

"We want you to put that plan together, practice that plan," McCartney said, "Put a kit together, be able to sustain yourself for seven to 10 days."

The event starts Saturday at 10 a.m. and it is open to the public. Every family that attends will get a free Starter Kit with emergency supplies and tools.

People must register online before going because space is limited. To register, click here.

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