Updated: 04/29/2014 6:47 PM
Created: 04/29/2014 5:23 PM WNYT.com
By: Abigail Bleck
LATHAM -- When flood waters rise or wind wreaks havoc, New York State wants its newly trained Citizen Preparedness Corps to step up -- to help themselves but also their neighbors.
"Having a plan that helps citizens to be better prepared, it helps with recovery part of it and restoration part of it," explains Major Doug Baker, of the NYS National Guard.
The two hour sessions, run by the National Guard and the Division of Homeland Security, will teach every day citizens what to do before during and after an emergency. Training focuses on natural disasters, like a hurricane or tornado, but will also touch upon localized events like a train derailment or factory explosion.
"When a catastrophic event happens all resources are in short supply and everybody is busy doing something."
Trained Citizen Preparedness Corps members will be able to react when responders are not available or help is needed more quickly.
"There is definitely going to be another one, a flood or tornado, so to give citizens information they can use to better prepare."
New York State also created a Skilled Volunteer Registry which will match New Yorkers and their skills to those victimized by a disaster. Click here to sign up for that or the Citizen Preparedness Corps training.