In response a number of complaints about, and observations of, communication with citizens during times of emergency, Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (New City-Pomona) told the Rockland County Times he has requested a detailed review and assessment of both policy and methodology of the emergency communications system here in Rockland County.
“To be blunt, Superstorm Sandy was the third time in a year that the citizens were crying out for timely and critical information during an emergency, and that is totally unacceptable. And while communications from utilities such as Orange and Rockland are an important part of the discussion, the first line of information flow lies with government, and too many feel that government continues to come up short on the matter,” said Legislator Day.
A two-part hearing is being scheduled under the auspices of the Public Safety Committee. The first hearing will bring in county emergency officials to detail protocol, policy, methods, and obstacles that are part of the emergency communications system. The second hearing will include a demonstration by United Way “211” officials, similar to one done some years ago, that will provide an update on exactly how they could potentially help us in communications with citizens during crisis. Day suggested possible strategies include an interface of the County information and referral effort with “211”, and a formal agreement of service with the County’s only local radio station, WRCR 1300AM.
The hearing is scheduled for the March 12 committee meeting, commencing at 5 p.m. Committee meetings are held at the legislative chambers, 11 New Hempstead Road, New City and the public is welcome to attend.