New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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How Being Proactive Can Ensure a Safer Holiday

Vivian Lee in Building Operations on December 18, 2014

East 37th Street, Murray Hill, Manhattan

Resources for Emergency Preparedness
Dec. 18, 2014

According to Eyewitness News, fire officials reported that the residents made a number of wrong moves:

  • The apartment had no smoke detectors.
  • Instead of calling the fire department immediately, the residents of the affected apartment tried to put out the fire themselves before evacuating.
  • Most damaging, they seem to have left the door to the apartment open, "which caused a heavy smoke condition throughout the whole building." 

Now that the holiday season is with us, here are some resources to help you be prepared to handle any emergency.

The New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps is offering two-hour courses that co-op and condo board members can attend. Those who go in person will receive an New York State disaster preparedness kit and learn about the tools and resources needed to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible. For those who cannot attend in person, there's an online course

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) can send representatives to your building to show residents and building staff how to prepare for a number of worst-case scenarios. They can help answer questions about how your building can cope in an emergency when trying to evacuate:

Your building is a community, and by staying informed and working together, you can look out for one another, especially when everyone needs it most.

For the Tech-Savvy

The OEM provides a couple of online tools for the tech savvy, including a link for the Ready NYC app, which you can download free and use, as long as you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (see page for details). The OEM also dipped into gamification territory, and created a readiness challenge that quizzes users on what course of action to take in any type of emergency.


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