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More Than 50 Local Residents Complete Preparedness Class

Citizens Preparedness Class

Swan Lake, NY – This past weekend, 51 residents trekked to the Sullivan County Emergency Services Training Center to gain valuable insight into all types of emergencies by taking the New York State Citizen Preparedness Class.

Officials from the National Guard and the New York State Office of Emergency Management led the training, focusing on how to prepare for flooding, hurricanes, hot weather, tornadoes, winter storms, fires, power outages, cybersecurity incidents and more.

Lessons learned included:

  • Develop an Emergency Plan. Since an emergency can strike at any time, create a plan for you and your family. Include important contact information, a special meeting place, and a list of medications (a 7-10-day supply). Check on emergency plans in your workplace, school, daycare and where you and your family spend time.
  • Build an Emergency Survival Kit. During an emergency, you may lose heat, air conditioning, and/or phone service. Build a kit to help you get by for 7-10 days. Include medical supplies, canned goods, hygiene supplies, and some tools. Don’t forget to have water on hand. At the time of an emergency, it may be hard to get or find.
  • Be Aware. Pay attention to the news. Some emergencies, such as weather-related ones, come with advanced notice – others just happen. Sign up for NY-Alert at to get news on weather events, road closures and other local, county, regional or state alerts.
  • Get Involved. Check out your home for potential safety hazards and fix them. Take a basic first aid class. Learn how to turn the power and water off, if needed. Think about joining the local fire department or ambulance corps. Learn about the Red Cross. Don’t forget about your neighbors - they may need some help.

Instructors also went over when and when not to call 911; what to do after an emergency happens; how to care for pets during disasters; important documents to make and have (wills, deeds, contacts, etc.); the need to have cash and water readily available; and the wisdom of a to-go bag kept ready at all times (one for each family member).

“This class covered a lot of material in a short period of time,” said Jack Halchak, Chief Deputy Fire Coordinator for Sullivan County. “It gave those attending food for thought on how to be aware of their surroundings and plan ahead for emergencies that could happen at any moment. And at the class’ conclusion, everyone received a backpack stocked with basic emergency supplies in order to get us started on preparing - on our own - for an emergency.”