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New York Governor Cuomo Names Irwin Redlener to Co-Chair Disaster Readiness Commission

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He Will Lead One of Three Commissions Created in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Irwin Redlener, MD, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, to co-chair the New York State Ready Commission. The newly created Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure critical systems and services are prepared for future natural disasters and other emergencies.

Faculty and staff at the Mailman School and the National Center for Disaster Preparedness will contribute to the work of the commission, which is one of three created by the Governor in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

The NYS Ready Commission, which is co-chaired by Ira M. Millstein, senior partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, has been charged with reviewing and making recommendations on these specific areas:

  • Addressing vulnerabilities in the State’s health care, energy, transportation, communications and other systems
  • Ensuring that new, modified, and existing construction is resilient
  • Ensuring the availability of adequate equipment, fuel, food, water, and other emergency supplies
  • Ensuring that first responders and other critical personnel are able to communicate efficiently and have access to adequate resources
  • Ensuring the availability of reliable real-time information for decision-makers
  • Ensuring that lines of authority are clear and officials have the authority to react rapidly to emergency situations.

“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.”

Along with NYS Ready, the Governor announced the creation of NYS 2100, which will focus on the state’s infrastructure, and NYS Respond, which will look at emergency preparedness and response. The Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.

November 16, 2012