FEMA Views Safe America Meeting as First Step in Joint ‘Planning Process’ to Reduce Threats to New York, New Jersey Region
Active shooters. Terrorists. Weather-related storms. Cyber attacks. All of these are worries – and are even tougher to deal with when you’re in a large, urban area like New York City.
That’s why Safe America has held annual meetings in the New York area, to engage firms in preparedness activities such as disaster practice drills. This month, Safe America will host its sixth annual meeting – this time, focused on planning an evacuation drill in New York for a multi-story building.
“We’re trying to raise-the-bar and join FEMA in getting New Yorkers to recognize that you can’t be ready to handle an emergency if you haven’t practiced how to handle an emergency,” said Safe America CEO Len Pagano. “We’re proud of the work firms like CNA and NBC have done – through our BE Safe America program – and want more firms to consider mass evacuation drills to see just how they would get hundreds of employees out safely from a high rise in under an hour.”
Pagano noted that cyber risks are another growing issue that will be addressed, with new Board members Jessica Robinson (CEO of PurePoint Int’l) is leading a task force that is planning a global online exercise this October 26. Fellow Board member Kathleen Lucey (of Montague Consultants) is helping develop a scenario that will involve a live drill from Atlanta-to-New York-to Sydney, Australia – and beyond.
“Putting this together is in itself an accomplishment, as we’re building through our WorldSafe and CEO Network programs a group that will engage firms in anticipating how to react to an emergency and then share advice and action steps to minimize the impact of a disaster,” Pagano added.
Safe America will be working with the Center for Personal Preparedness Safety (CPPS) out of the Washington, D.C. area to help train individuals, community groups and firms with how to respond to active shooters. The Cobb Police Department and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center are also offering their training resources, with a special ‘Training Camp’ being planned on October 28 at the Omni Hotel during the WorldSafe Summit in Atlanta. Firms, church and civic organizations are invited to participate. For more information, contact Bob Surrusco at (770)-973-7233.