Red Cross Promotes Preparedness in New York City
Tuesday, June 11, 2007
Prepare NY Seminar
Time 11am – 11:45am
Location: J W Johnson Senior Center
2205 First Avenue, New York City
Prepare New York is a free 45-minute emergency preparedness presentation teaching New York City residents how to create a plan, build a supply kit, and keep loved ones safe and informed during times of disaster.
Participants walk away with an interactive CD that can be used to create a customized evacuation plan and other tools that will help any family get prepared. Also included are various brochures from the American Red Cross and the New York City Office of Emergency Management, as well as a quiz to test the attendee's emergency preparedness knowledge. Visit the website to register or call 212-875-2177 for more information. The program is free of charge.
Congress Supports Job Protection for Emergency Volunteers
An amendment to the 2007-08 Homeland Security authorization act would protect the jobs of volunteer firefighters and other emergency volunteers who respond to a federally-declared emergency. "We thank the cosponsors and supporters of this legislation for their efforts. These firefighters and EMS personnel should not have to worry about their jobs back home, when responding with their departments to national events like Hurricane Katrina,” Chief Jim Harmes, president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, is quoted in Fire Chief Magazine coverage.
Oregon Rejects $665 Million Radio System Overhaul
The Oregon Legislature rejected Gov. Ted Kulongoski's (D) plan to spend $665 million for a statewide public safety radio network because the proposal was too vague and would cost nearly $200 for every man woman and child in Oregon. Rep. Donna Nelson (R), is quoted in Oregonian coverage: "I've never seen anything like what's happening here in all my years of being here -- to establish something that is so huge and so serious" without more detail. "I don't know how on earth we can approve this without a plan and a budget." Oregon's plan, while sketchy on details, called for more coverage, more towers,
higher system capacity and newer technology than most other states. The Legislature appropriated $6.8 million to study alternative plans.
Law Would Provide Immunity for Reports of Suspicious Activity
Praising the role of a New Jersey video store clerk in exposing the Fort Dix conspiracy, federal lawmakers have moved to protect people reporting suspicious activity from lawsuits. "Law-enforcement officials have noted that their investigation was triggered by an alert clerk's report that a customer had brought in a video that showed men firing weapons and shouting in Arabic, which reminded him of the 9/11 terrorists," Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) explained to the Senate last Friday, as quoted in United Press International coverage. "Protecting citizens who make good-faith reports of potentially lethal activities is essential to maintaining our homeland security."
The key phrase in the legislation is "good faith," a caveat inserted to address fears that certain groups would become targets of vindictive or frivolous investigations. The bill was introduced in the Senate last Friday by Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-CT, and ranking member Susan Collins, R-ME, of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ. Reps. Peter King, R-NY, and Steve Pearce, R-NM, and Bill Schuster, R-PA, introduced companion legislation in the House on Monday.