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The Telegram
  • Cuomo signs bill to improve state’s response to disasters

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to improve New York state’s ability to coordinate preparation and response for disaster emergencies.

    The legislation will update current emergency laws, allow the state to accept certain gifts and donations to assist with emergencies and help implement an emergency alert system.

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  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to improve New York state’s ability to coordinate preparation and response for disaster emergencies.
    The legislation will update current emergency laws, allow the state to accept certain gifts and donations to assist with emergencies and help implement an emergency alert system.
    “We are making sure New York is better prepared for the new reality that our state will face extreme and devastating storms far more often than ever before,” Cuomo said in a news release. “Improving our ability to prepare for and respond to future disasters is key and this legislation is an important step forward in these efforts.”
    “The prospect of facing once-in-a-generation storms on a more regular basis is real, but New Yorkers can rest assured that state government is taking all possible steps to be ready for whatever challenges we face,” Cuomo added.
    The law permits fax or other electronic modes of communication as a method for sheriffs to notify the governor when a state of emergency is declared in a particular county.
    The Office of Emergency Management will be able to accept any assistance including gifts of goods or services, excluding money, from a public or private source for the purposes of preparing for, responding to or recovering from a state disaster emergency. To ensure transparency, a public database will be maintained to include names of donors and recipients, the type of assistance given and the value of the assistance.
    The law will also implement the NY-Text system by providing immunity from liability to mobile service provider intermediaries that are acting on behalf of the state in sending emergency alert messages. The NY-Text system allows for mass text messages to be sent to all wireless telephones in a chosen area before, during or after an emergency.
    “These updates to current emergency laws will strengthen our state’s preparedness and response capabilities, which will add to our overall resiliency for future storms, natural disasters and any other significant emergencies,” state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome Hauer said in the release.
    Federal Emergency Management Agency
    Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have confirmed they are continuing to work with state officials to complete preliminary damage assessments in flood-affected counties. For more information regarding the disaster declaration process, visit http://www.fema.gov/declaration-process-fact-sheet.
    Boil water order
    Residents in the village of Mohawk are advised to boil their water.
    Tdap vaccinations
    To date, the Herkimer County Public Health Department has administered more than 900 free tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccinations. Any resident, responder or recovery worker in the county in need of a free Tdap vaccination is welcome to attend a walk-in clinic at the Herkimer County Office and Courts Facility at 301 N. Washington St., Herkimer, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. For information call 867-1176.
    Page 2 of 2 - Points of distribution
    Distribution points have been set up at the Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department, 28 Columbia St., where water and cleanup kits are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at Owen D. Young Central School, 2316 state Route 80, Van Hornesville, were water and cleanup kits are available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    American Red Cross, Salvation Army
    The American Red Cross continues to have emergency response vehicles operating in the area to provide food, cleanup and comfort kits and other human services. The American Red Cross helpline number is 733-4666.
    The Salvation Army has mobile vehicles operating in the county providing food, water and other human services. Residents may also visit the Salvation Army office at 431 N. Prospect St., Herkimer, for coffee and drinks from 9 a.m. to noon and dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. The Salvation Army helpline number is 866-1240.
    Town of Herkimer has dumpsters available
    The town of Herkimer has dumpsters available at the town highway garage on Gros Boulevard for town of Herkimer residents to use to dispose of trash caused by the recent flood. For further information call the town office at 866-2690.
    Deadline for flood debris removal in Ilion
    The village of Ilion will discontinue curbside flood damaged item pick up Monday at 2 p.m. If the need arises in the future, the village will pick up on an individual, as needed basis. Any debris or items that are not flood damaged and placed curbside will not be picked up and the resident will be ticketed for illegal dumping.
    Herkimer Co. flood helpline
    The Herkimer County Emergency Operations Center has activated a flood helpline for residents who have questions regarding issues directly related to flooding in Herkimer County. Staff will be able to provide non-emergency information for activities occurring on a county-level such as tetanus shot locations from the Herkimer County Public Health office, distribution points for food and water, ways to volunteer and ways to sign up for assistance from volunteer services. The number, 574-3011, will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Life threatening emergencies should be reserved for 911.
    NYS flood helpline
    Gov. Cuomo has ordered the activation of the state flood helpline to aid residents affected by widespread flooding across areas of New York. New Yorkers may call the helpline for recommendations from the state Department of Health, assistance in filing an insurance claim, what to do in case of an oil spill or power outage, mental health assistance, and for other recovery needs as well. The number, 1-888-769-7243, will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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