Local emergency preparedness experts attending were, from left, Fire Protection Specialist Christopher Taylor from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Region III Office of Emergency Management Director Bruce Jordan, New York State Police Lieutenant Troy J. Granmoe, St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director Michael J. LeCuyer, and St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells.
CANTON -- More than 250 North Country residents learned how to prepare for disasters at a training session by the Citizen Preparedness Corps at SUNY Canton on Saturday, April 5.
Attendees learned about natural, man-made and technological emergencies. National Guard members in attendance recommended advanced planning with all family members before an emergency strikes.
"It is important to get the message out that anyone can prepare for emergencies," said Michael LeCuyer, St. Lawrence County emergency services director. "Some things will be beyond people's control and they may need assistance from emergency services, but we want to empower people to take care of emergencies on their own. By doing so we can provide better services to those who need it the most."
Additional tips from the two-hour training included stocking up on food and water for at least 7 to 10 days. Typically, residents should save a gallon of water per person per day. Trainers advised photographing personal items of value and having important documents on hand, safely protected from water and fire.
"The importance of this training is neighbors taking care of neighbors," said St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells, a 1980 graduate of SUNY Canton. "If we don't help each other, what are we going to do? We are in an isolated part of the state and we need to take care of ourselves."
SUNY Canton has majors in emergency management and homeland security. It is also home to the North Country Emergency Medical Services Program Agency.
The college is vying to house a state college of emergency preparedness, homeland security and cyber security through a partnership with Clarkson University in Potsdam. The colleges would become the first in the nation devoted to homeland security.