Superstorm Sandy, which rocked the east coast, leaving devastation in its wake, opened many Americans’ eyes to the reality of natural disaster. After Long Island’s experience with Hurricane Irene, many people underestimated the damage that Sandy would cause; we had prepared so heavily for Irene and suffered minimally, so who’d have thought Sandy could have the effect that it did?
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that NYS is receiving $75 million from Statewide Interoperability Communications Grants (SICG), a funding movement set in place to help improve the emergency communications systems, and to better connect communities with each other and with first responders.
The SICG program is funded through cellphone surcharge revenue collected in the Statewide Public Safety Communications Account, and supports the development of more effective means of communication and the implementation of protocol in the case of state-wide emergency. This is the third round of SICG funding, and the previous two rounds provided $122 million of funding to counties throughout NYS. 23 counties are eligible to apply for up to $6 million each in funding, as they did not benefit from the funding previously awarded.
“Our experience over the last few years has taught us that the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently on all levels of government is crucial for preparing and responding to an emergency,” Gov. Cuomo explains, “These grants provide essential funding for enhancing emergency communications systems across the state, and they are an important investment in our local governments. I urge eligible localities to take advantage of this opportunity, which will support the work of our first responders in an emergency and better protect New Yorkers.”
While this funding is a huge support for local government in their efforts to better connect New Yorkers to one another and to emergency services providers, it’s important for individuals to take measures to protect themselves in the event of an emergency. Superstorm Sandy showed us how vulnerable we really are, and how important it is to make sure our insurance coverage is not only adequate, but up-to-date. Although there are emergency funds in place to assist us on an individual basis, programs such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have a limit of support available per person, and as we found during Sandy, it may not be enough for the reparations we require.
With Sandy insurance in mind, does your business have sufficient coverage for any damage you may incur in the event of another superstorm? Flooding, high winds displacing cars, boats, and debris of all sizes, and fallen trees and powerlines are all things to consider when assessing the potential injuries that may affect your business. Contact IQO for any insurance questions you may have to make sure that your business and its assets are appropriately protected.