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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

“National Night Out” In Columbus Circle: Preparedness Info, Barbecued Hot Dogs/Burgers & NYPD Face Painting For Kids

August 5th, 2009 · No Comments

As part of yesterday’s “National Night Out Against Crime”, my Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) handed out preparedness information in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. We joined members of the New York City Police Fire & Parks Departments during the annual event, which aims to promote crime prevention awareness as well as strengthen ties between uniformed emergency agencies and the public.

National Night Out by you.

New York City Police Deputy Commissioner David Cohen presents a Mayoral proclamation to a commander at the Central Park Precinct as part of “National Night Out”.

Each year during the “Night Out,” NYC-CERT members distribute Ready New York information to the public and encourage involvement in the CERT program. It’s always fun, particularly on a nice summer evening, because you get a chance to interact with a lot of people passing on the busy intersection at the entrance to Central Park.

My CERT colleagues and I found that most people were willing — and even eager — to take the orange pocket-size Ready New York pamphlets. It also gives us a chance to answer questions about citizen preparedness, ranging from H1N1 to CPR training. We also ended up giving a lot of directions since many of those passing by are tourists from around the U.S. and the world. One man asked me where the closest place was to buy a bathing suit (using my Blackberry we found a nearby sporting goods store; you never know what your CERT responsibilities will entail!).

This year, the NYPD barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers as part of the festivities. And, two officers did face painting for kids. (Who would have known that among the ranks of the men and women in blue were two skilled face painters?)

National Night Out by you.

Handing out Ready New York pamphlets — I had to add a sartorial twist to my CERT uniform (a blue blazer over the green shirt), because I came to the event directly after a meeting.

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