Disaster Preparedness

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      A project is under way to ensure that the only top level trauma hospital in western Massachusetts will be able to function in the event a disaster knocks out the power grid for an extended length of time.

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     Work has begun to secure a dam in western Massachusetts that was flagged almost a decade ago as a threat to public safety and property.

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    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker proclaimed September “Emergency Preparedness Month” and urged residents to plan ahead in the event disaster strike.

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Summer is here, with hazy, hot and humid days that can give way to dangerous storms. It’s also hurricane season — and as the Northeast has learned in the past several years, we’re not immune.   FEMA is helping people prepare for severe weather with a new smartphone app.

Sheri Fink, award winning journalist and nonfiction author, is the keynote speaker for the Disasters, Ethics and Social Justice Conference taking place at the University at Albany on Friday, April 15. She will be speaking and giving the keynote address.

Sheri is a New York Times correspondent and author of bestselling book Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The book won the National Book Critic Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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The city of Springfield, Massachusetts, which experienced five presidentially-declared disasters in a two-year span, including a tornado and two blizzards, is getting federal funds to help with recovery and to prepare for future disasters.

  In his new book of investigative reporting, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyber-attack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Ted Koppel is a 42-year veteran of ABC News and was anchor and managing editor of Nightline from 1980 to 2005. 

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Once again, New York's U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on federal regulators to pass tighter safety restrictions for crude oil transported by rail.

The newest cry came Thursday: The Senators submitted a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan calling on him to pass legislation requiring new standards as soon as possible.

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Westchester County is looking for community input on disaster preparedness.

The city of Rensselaer has been designated as the host of one of six “strategic fuel reserves” by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

With memories of the recent trio of devastating storms — Irene, Lee and Sandy — and disruptions they caused still lingering, the Cuomo administration has unveiled plans to centralize sources of gasoline and diesel fuel for easy access to emergency responders.  The program is being administered by the state Energy Research and Development Authority with $10 million in funding from the state Power Authority.