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Celebrate Preparedness Month by readying for the next disaster

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If an earthquake and lethal tropical storm just days apart weren't lessons enough, authorities launched National Preparedness Month Thursday to push complacent New Yorkers to gear up for whatever unimaginable trouble might come next.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management said 150 city businesses representing 500,000 employees have committed to pitch in. These “Partners in Preparedness” do things such as distributing and testing emergency contact plans, conducting preparedness and fire drills and scheduling blood drives, CPR trainings or work-from-home days to test business continuity.

“It’s not every week that NYC sees an earthquake and a hurricane, but our recent experiences with both serve as great reminders of why it is so important to prepare for emergencies,” said OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno.

New Yorkers are encouraged to formulate and distribute copes of their own “household disaster plans” that family members can carry in billfolds and backpacks. This entails deciding where to reunite after a disaster, who will help young, disabled or elderly family members, and agreeing on a relative outside of the city to serve as a contact person.

It’s also a good idea to identify exit routes from homes and neighborhoods and to assemble “go bags” that contain child care and personal items, drinking water, a battery-operated AM/FM radio with extra batteries and other items.

More tips can be found at www.nyc.gov/oem, where you can also find information on how to win a “go bag.”

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