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POV: Lessons from Irene and Lee

It would be another type of tragedy not to learn from this experience and improve our emergency preparedness and response procedures.

The unthinkable happened -- and it occurred in our own backyard here in Upstate New York. Let’s take advantage of the experience and evaluate how we would address another similar event even more efficiently.

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen first-hand the generosity of residents who want to help their neighbors. Caring citizens have organized fundraisers and food and clothing drives for those who lost everything in the storms, while others have donated their time to help clear debris and rebuild damaged homes and businesses. Amid the heartbreak and devastation have emerged inspiring stories of hope and healing.

But more needs to be done and I believe our state government can, and must, capture this spirit and work together to help our fellow New Yorkers get back on their feet.

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