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Broome County raises awareness for National Preparedness Month

Broome County and the Red Cross are using the upcoming third anniversary of the devastating 2011 flood to remind people of the importance of preparing for disasters.
Binghamton (WIVT) - Broome County and the Red Cross are using the upcoming third anniversary of the devastating 2011 flood to remind people of the importance of preparing for disasters.

County Executive Debbie Preston, Emergency Services Director Brett Chellis and Red Cross Community Executive Shelley Bierwiler held a news conference Tuesday to mark September as National Preparedness Month.

The county plans a month-long series of events to raise awareness with four weeks dedicated to the following four themes: "Be Informed," "Be Prepared," "Make A Kit" and "Get Involved."

Bierwiler said volunteering is a great way to get involved, and that the Red Cross has many volunteers who themselves were impacted by the flood.

"Know who lives next to you. You may have older individuals who live next to you and they have no family. Know that they're there so that when you're leaving, and you need to go somewhere, you can help a neighbor out. That's a great volunteer opportunity," she said.

The Red Cross has a series of targeted smart phone apps available to help people get better prepared for a variety of different disasters.

Preston said she worked hard to have the state designate Broome County as a regional disaster supply location.

She said a hangar at the Binghamton Regional Airport has been stocked with batteries, generators, cots, food and water for distribution in the event of a disaster in Broome, Tioga or Chenango Counties.

Preston said she's still working on a possible location to establish a regional disaster shelter.
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