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Local official advises Cuomo on emergency preparation

An advisory commission to Governor Cuomo is calling for better planning in health care to help prevent the chaos in care Downstate during and after Superstorm Sandy.Daniel McCartan is a trauma-trained nurse, military veteran of disasters and, emergency preparedness coordinator for ECMC and the Regional Resource Center.

Governor Cuomo appointed McCartan to the Ready Commission to help look into keeping critical systems and services like health care ready for disaster. He was one of the few commission members from outside the New York City area.

McCartan says the key to preparing for disasters is to plan together with health care and emergency services personnel and learn the lessons of past disasters.

He points to the terrible damage to Manhattan hospitals because their emergency generators were in the basement and flooded out.

"Having generators in the basement, they should have known better. Quite frankly, those kind of lessons were learned from Katrina.," McCartan said.

"We had the benefit of having one of the hospital administrators come up and lecture emergency management folks in Western New York right after Katrina. "

McCartan says emergency personnel here plan together, train together and, make sure they are ready for disaster.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.