After a number of devastating natural disasters have hit New York state over the past couple of years, State leaders and emergency responders are looking to better prepare for the future. YNN's Maria Valvanis has more on the Emergency Preparedness Conference.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- With storms of the century occurring more and more frequently here in the Empire State, hundreds of first responders, county officials, and emergency management crews, joined Governor Cuomo in Albany on Monday to learn from the past.
Governor Cuomo said, "Government either works in an emergency, or people die. Period."
And in order to work, the Governor says everyone must work together. This is why he announced the first ever state wide Emergency Management Training Program.
"Having lived through Superstorm Sandy and Irene and Lee, there were a lot of communities that were less than prepared," said NYSPD Superintendent Joseph D'Amico.
Under the new program, all first responders will be trained to approach disaster situations following a unified protocol.
D'Amico said, "Basically it's the local communities that respond first, then when it's really bad the National Guard and State Police step in. This is an opportunity for us all to work together so that when the bell finally rings, were all on the same page."
After Superstorm Sandy communities were left without power for days. Monday the Governor announced the state has begun specialized National Guard training, to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.
National Guard Major General, Patrick Murphy, said, "In order to free up crews, in order to get to power lines, we've developed teams to roll in early and provide security and help restore that power."
The Governor also announced Federal approval for the State's request to use the Federal Wireless Emergency Alert System, so that officials can send alerts to New Yorkers on their mobile phones before, during, or after emergency.
The Governor says although we can't prevent Mother Nature's path, we can take comfort in knowing we are preparing for it.
Governor Cuomo said, "You feel the energy change from one of despair to one of hope and realizing there is a light at the end of the tunnel."