New York Announces NY Responds—A Comprehensive Approach to Emergency Management

Governor Cuomo just announced the creation of NY Responds. For the first time ever, every county in New York State will have no-cost access to universal emergency management software. This will enable local governments and state agencies to seamlessly submit and share disaster-related information ranging from real-time tracking of weather conditions and assets to incident reports and resource requests.

Currently, counties either utilize a variety of competing software systems or totally lack emergency management software. The state will provide access and training free of charge to each county.

The new universal technological infrastructure will enhance the ability of state and local officials to:

  • Prioritize and reallocate resources as needed
  • Respond quickly and accurately to disaster incidents
  • Monitor a disaster from its beginning to demobilization

State of the art mapping and location technology will aid the software by enabling faster development of a common operating picture. The system will have access to data layers such as traffic cameras, power outages, and status reports on critical infrastructure.

New York State will also be able to track its assets, since it installed global positioning units in about 1,840 vehicles operated by the State Thruway Authority, the State Department of Transportation, and the DHSES. With this system, the state can remotely track the status and location of response assets such as utility vehicles, dump trucks and plows in real time.

Real-time weather forecasting and modeling will complement the emergency management software through the New York State Early Warning Weather Detection System. Once completed, 125 sites in the state will feed real-time data to the National Weather Service, thus enhancing the emergency response of state and local governments in times of severe weather.

Rolling out NY Responds to all counties is projected to cost $1.5 million with annual maintenance costs of $406,000. Considering that New York State has recently faced historic snowfall levels, tornadoes, hurricanes, and tropical storms, this seems like an extremely wise investment.