In celebration of the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service on April 7th, an Emergency Preparedness Day was held at the Salvation Army in Freeport. In collaboration with Mayor Robert T. Kennedy, the Freeport Office of Emergency Management, the Long Term Recovery Group, and the Long Island Volunteer Center, over 60 seniors and 30 youth were given emergency preparedness kits and information about how to prepare for a disaster.
The Mayors Day of Recognition is an event sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, and Cities of Service in order to connect the work that mayors do to the work AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members do within the communities they work with since the goal of both of these community leaders is to create sustainable and resilient communities. On the CNCS website, the purpose behind the creation of this event is described as follows:
“The nation’s mayors are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to address city challenges. By unleashing the power of citizens, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have a positive and lasting impact – making our cities better places to live. To spotlight the impact of national service and thank those who serve, mayors across the country will participate in the third-annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.”
The day included opening remarks from Mayor Kennedy and Jose Guzman of the Salvation Army and a brief presentation from Richard Holdener, the Director of Freeport Office of Emergency Management, on local preparedness networks. The Long Term Recovery Group AmeriCorps VISTA, Stephanie D’Haiti, and Elisabeth Muehlemann, the AmeriCorps Community Emergency Preparedness Corps member at the Long Island Volunteer Center, presented on the importance of personal and whole community disaster readiness and resilience. Mayor Kennedy assisted in handing out 100 American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness kits to attendees, which allowed everyone to leave a little bit more prepared than before they arrived.
As Freeport was a village that was greatly affected by Superstorm Sandy, it was a rewarding experience to be able to bring together various levels of government, AmeriCorps members, non-profit organizations, and members of the community to increase resilience and emphasize the importance of preparing individuals, families, and neighborhoods for any disaster they may face.