Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the formation of three commissions charged with undertaking a comprehensive review and making specific recommendations to overhaul and improve New York State’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities, as well as examining how to improve the strength and resilience of the state’s infrastructure to better withstand major weather incidents.
The recent major storms to hit New York State, including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee, have revealed major weaknesses in the state’s transportation, energy, communications, and health infrastructures. In addition, the storms have exposed needs in emergency response capabilities at all levels of government and in the preparedness of the energy, health care, transportation, water, fuel, communications and other sectors. The three commissions, established today through Executive Order by the Governor, will help prepare and equip New York State for future natural disasters.
“Over the past two years, New York State has been hit by some of the most destructive storms in our state’s history, causing untold damage and the tragic loss of many lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “Regardless of the cause of these storms, New York State must undertake major reforms to adapt to the reality that storms such as Sandy, Irene, and Lee can hit the state at any time. For this reason, I have charged these three commissions to seriously examine existing systems and present a comprehensive blueprint so we can bring our emergency preparedness and response capabilities into the 21st century and ensure our infrastructure is built to survive major weather incidents.”
The Commissions are:
The NYS 2100 Commission is tasked with finding ways to improve the resilience and strength of the state’s infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies. The Commission will be co-chaired by Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Felix G. Rohatyn, former Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation.NYS Respond Commission The NYS Respond Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure that New York State is ready to respond to future weather-related disasters. The Commission will examine and make recommendations to improve the planning, training and resource commitment that must occur before the next major weather event in order for the appropriate deployment of people and resources to take place during and after the emergency or disaster occurs. The Commission will be co-chaired by Thad Allen, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Admiral (US Coast Guard, Retired), and Brad Penuel, Director of the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response at New York University. NYS Ready Commission The NYS Ready Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure critical systems and services are prepared for future natural disasters and other emergencies. The Commission will be co-chaired by Ira M. Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. All of the Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.