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From the Desk of Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel - October 9, 2009

Preparing for the Unexpected: Be Informed

In the event that a disaster strikes, being prepared for the unexpected can make a stressful situation easier to handle for you and your family. It is important to have the proper tools and plans in place today to ensure the safety of you and your family tomorrow. To help you get ready, I am launching a three-part column series about emergency preparedness titled, “Preparing for the Unexpected.”

The first step in preparing for the unexpected is to get informed about the potential emergencies that may strike your community. Learn about the risks that you and your family face from these hazards. For more information about New York-related risks please visit

The more information you have the better you can respond to emergencies. It is important to stay informed about what might happen. That’s why I encourage all residents to sign up for

NY-Alert, a free program that is part of New York State’s ongoing commitment to providing New Yorkers with information about threats and emergency situations and instructs them how to respond accordingly.

The NY-Alert program sends warnings and alerts about natural emergencies and road closures to your cell phone, 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. Once you sign up for NY-Alert, you will be able to customize locations and the types of emergencies (from minor to extreme) you would like to receive information about. To sign up for NY-Alert go to or call (888) 697-6972.