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Gov. Cuomo prepares N.Y. for next disaster

Jan. 4, 2013 at 2:10 AM   |   Comments

ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Still angry after Congress delayed voting for assistance to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is preparing for the next big storm.

Cuomo said Thursday after two years of devastating storms and power outages, he is taking steps to improve the state's future emergency preparedness, WNYT-TV in Albany reported.

The governor examined the recommendations of two committees -- New York State Respond and the New York State Ready -- that he set up to prepare for the next time disaster strikes.

"People are in desperate need for help and assistance," Cuomo said. "It's a matter of life and death, literally, and the only organization, the only people who can help, are government people."

Among the recommendations are: create a state stockpile of water, food and gasoline, plus the establishment of a civilian emergency response corps that includes an army of electricians.

There would be generators at gas stations, a text message alert system to deliver vital information to recipients, and a plan to better protect vulnerable populations, nursing home residents and those in hospitals.

"There's a feasibility that goes along with all of these initiatives, you have to weigh it against the probability and against the cost," Cuomo said. "You can be prepared for a lot of things, the question is: How much do you want to pay and what is the probability that those things are going to occur?"

Cuomo said he would incorporate some of the recommendations into his State of the State message next week.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said his chamber would vote part of hurricane relief Friday and most of the funding in Jan. 15.

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