Owego prepares for potential disasters

By Conor Mooney

May 10, 2014 Updated May 10, 2014 at 7:37 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The flood 2011 and Super Storm Sandy are only a few recent disasters that have struck New York State. Lawmakers want their constituents to be more prepared.

When it comes to the risk of natural disasters, New York State is above the national average.

In February, state officials kicked off a new program aimed to make New Yorkers better prepared for the next time disaster strikes. That program was in Owego Saturday.

Back in February, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) launched the Citizen Preparedness Training Program, which aims to prepare roughly 100,000 New Yorkers with the tools and resources to prepare for emergencies.

It has gained bi-partisan support.

"We want to make sure people are ready God forbid something happen again," said State Senator Thomas Libous-R, NYS 52nd Senate.

Seminars have been held across the state to inform citizens how to be ready in case a disaster strikes.

The National Guard is at seminars to tell public just what they need to know.

"Obviously you can never know when there's going to be a disaster so you already want to have your supplies stockpiled," said Command Sergeant Major David Oliver of the National Guard.

Each family who attended Saturday's event walked away a backpack filled with important items needed in the wake of a disaster. Things like first aid kits, safety gloves and safety goggles.

"It's easy to be pre-prepared rather than react afterwards," said Bob Squier, of Apalachin.

Over 200 people were at the event, which organizers said was a great turnout for such a small community.

Village of Owego Mayor Kevin Millar said, "I think we have the highest percentage of residents in the flood plain in the state and I think it's especially important to us because of that."

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