Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that New York State is taking additional steps to help the island of Puerto Rico further strengthen its hurricane preparedness efforts ahead of next year’s hurricane season. In the aftermath of Fiona, many areas of the island lost electricity and the ability to access drinking water. This new commitment from Governor Hochul will ensure emergency generators for the island’s water infrastructure and local emergency response are maintained ahead of hurricane season, bolstering preparedness and reducing hurricane access risk. drinking water during future storms. For the first time next spring, the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany will provide advanced and intensive training and assessment programs to Puerto Rican emergency management officials at all levels of government to strengthen their preparedness and build on the progress they have made in recent years in emergency response.
“New York and Puerto Rico share a special bond, and our state will always be ready to support our brothers and sisters in any way possible,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration is proud to stand with Puerto Rico, and this training will better protect people, property and critical infrastructure from future extreme weather conditions and help the island build resilience for years to come.”
These measures build on state support provided to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico following the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Hurricane Fiona in 2022. In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in September and at the request of Governor Pedro Pierluisi, Governor Hochul deployed senior members of his administration, New York State Troopers, and a multi-agency support team from the Emergency Operations Center to Puerto Rico to assist to relief efforts.
Beginning in early 2023, State Agency personnel from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Transportation experienced in engineering and Technical assistance will travel to Puerto Rico to provide annual maintenance to the emergency generators that support the island’s water and emergency response infrastructure.
Ahead of next year’s Atlantic hurricane season, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will host Puerto Rican emergency management officials from all levels of government at the Emergency Preparedness Training Center. state for an advanced readiness exchange each spring. The program will be developed by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, in conjunction with its Puerto Rican counterparts, and may include training exercises such as swift water and flood rescue, search and rescue. urban rescue, technical operation and evaluation of UAS, and emergency operations. disaster management and response, depending on the profile and skills needs of the trainees from Puerto Rico.
Jackie Bray, Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, said: “Governor Hochul is committed to supporting Puerto Rico in its efforts to recover from major tropical storms. And now, New York State will partner with our counterparts in Puerto Rico to ensure they have the resources and training they need to be better prepared for the next hurricane season and all hurricane seasons to come.”
The training would also provide a collaborative workshop for emergency management officials in New York and Puerto Rico to share best practices for the roles and organization of emergency operations centers between the two teams.
Since Hurricane Maria, New York has helped Puerto Rico secure billions of dollars in federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover and rebuild the island’s energy infrastructure, in addition to the New York Power Authority performing engineering assessments of power plants and substations on the island. . In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, the worst storm to hit the island since Hurricane Maria, Governor Hochul announced New York State actions to assist Puerto Rico in its relief efforts. These efforts have further reinforced New York’s longstanding commitment to assist Puerto Rico in its reconstruction and recovery.
About the State Readiness Training Center
New York State is home to one of the nation’s premier emergency response training facilities – the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. Located on 1,100 acres, the State Preparedness Training Center offers an extensive series of realistic training sites, a Swift Water and Flood training site, a 45,000 square foot CityScape complex and an urban search and rescue simulator. From classroom lectures and discussions, to skill development pathways, to real-life and high-performance scenario-based training, the State Preparedness Training Center offers state, local, and federal agencies a wide range of opportunities for dynamic emergency first responder training.
About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect, prepare for, respond, recover, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or visit our website.