Improving Flood Mitigation and Emergency Management

Superstorm Sandy was only the most recent reminder of how vulnerable we are to natural disasters. Emergency management and flood mitigation programs have been given increased significance in Governor Cuomo’s administration. I have actively supported a variety of initiatives, including increased disaster preparedness and capability requirements for utility companies and the NY Rising Communities Program that assists communities to become less vulnerable to natural disasters. Much more needs to be done, however, especially here in Westchester where we are even more vulnerable to flood damage than we were thirty years ago.

In the Assembly, I have advocated for increased assistance for flood mitigation in Westchester and throughout the state. I am working with Village of Mamaroneck officials on their major US Army Corp of Engineers Flood project, which will require state assistance as part of the funding package. I have also secured funds for flood mitigation projects in New Rochelle and Larchmont and worked with the City of Rye on their participation in the NY Rising Communities Program, which brings state funding and technical assistance for disaster preparedness projects.

My involvement with these important issues goes well beyond my years in the Assembly. I co-chaired Rye’s work with the FEMA Project Impact program, a precursor to the state’s NY Rising program. Rye was one of the first NYS communities to be selected for Project Impact, a program to help communities become better prepared to face natural disasters.

While President of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association, I worked to help local governments and the county improve their coordination and preparedness in emergency planning. I also served on the County Flood Action Task Force from 2007 until 2010.

While much has been done in recent years, there is still room to improve our efforts, as well as increase state assistance for local flood mitigation projects. I will remain a strong advocate on these issues.