Red Cross and Utica MHA Co-Sponsor Emergency Preparation Workshops

(Photo: Stratton Lawrence/Charleston City Paper)

by Utica Municipal Housing Authority/Press Releases

UTICA – In partnership with New York State as well as the Utica Municipal Housing Authority (UMHA) and its resident associations, the Red Cross will be offering free emergency preparedness training sessions at the housing authority’s developments.

The training workshop, entitled “Prepare, Respond, Recover: What to do When Disaster Strikes,” gives a comprehensive overview on how to prepare for natural and man-made disasters and how to respond to and recover from them. The training also provides information on types of common disasters, ways to prepare as an individual, family and community member, what to do when disaster strikes and what actions you can take afterwards to aid in your recovery.  The sessions are free and open to housing authority residents as well as the general public.   Refreshments and free flashlights will be provided.

The sessions will be held at 6 p.m. at the following locations and dates:

Wednesday, December 2   – Chancellor Apartments, Community Room, 417 Bleecker Street
Thursday, December 3   – Adrean Terrace, Vega Martinez Center, 1736 Armory Drive
Monday, December 7  – Gillmore Village, Computer Center, 929 Hillcrest Avenue
Tuesday, December 8    – Humphrey Gardens, Resident Center, 225 Herkimer Road
Monday, December 14      – Marino-Ruggiero Apartments, Community Room, 415 Bleecker Street

The emergency preparedness training sessions are a component of the Community Fire Safety Education Project (CFSEP), a collaboration among the Utica Municipal Housing Authority (UMHA), Utica Fire Department (UFD), and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR).  The project aims to reduce injury and deaths caused by fire among fire fighters, low-income public housing residents, multi- lingual refugee and immigrant populations, and persons with physical disabilities.

In 2014, the UMHA received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the amount of $363,672 to prevent fires through language specific and culturally appropriate fire education programming, installation of SmartBurner cooking systems within UMHA units, and home education visits and smoke alarm inspections/installations throughout UMHA developments. The SmartBurner cooking system is a new product engineered to help prevent stovetop cooking fires before they can start. Unlike other products that alert occupants after a fire has started or try to suppress an existing fire, the SmartBurner helps prevent the fire from occurring in the first place through a special temperature controlled cooking system.

The American Red Cross has recently enlisted in the partnership and is providing an in-kind donation of 3,000 smoke detectors for UMHA affordable housing units. Red Cross volunteers are installing the detectors with assistance from the UMHA AmeriCorps program.

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