Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and Assemblymember Diana Richardson invited Central Brooklyn residents for an emergency preparedness workshop at the Shalom Senior Center on Sunday, October 28.

The event was part of the Citizen Preparedness Training Corps, a partnership between the American Red Cross and New York State, that provides free disaster preparedness education year-round.

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, many Brooklyn residents never imagined we would see a storm of that magnitude,” said Congressmember Clarke. “However, emergencies come in many forms, from hurricanes to blackouts, to home fires – and no community is exempt. Central Brooklyn neighborhoods are filled with old, historic buildings which are more susceptible to disasters due to poor ventilation and lack of emergency access points, among other things.”

Red Cross instructors kicked off the event with a presentation titled Prepare, Respond, Recover: What to do When Disaster Strikes, which gave a comprehensive overview of various types of natural and man-made disasters. The program then continued to instruct participants on ways to prepare as an individual, family and community member, as well as how to respond and recover when such emergencies occur.

“Because of climate change and upticks in natural disasters and mass shootings, we must be more vigilant than ever to protect ourselves and our families,” said Clarke. “I encourage everyone to engage in this important conversation.”

NY American Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood emphasized Clarke’s appeal.

“We urge everyone to make sure they are prepared for a disaster and not wait until an emergency occurs and it’s too late,” he said.

Since its launch in 2014, the Citizen Preparedness Training has empowered more than 60,000 New Yorkers with emergency preparedness skills and resources. To learn more about the program, to sign up for an upcoming training or to take an online course, go here.

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