Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

August 17, 2016

Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Returns to the 2016 Great New York State Fair

Free disaster preparedness training course teaches attendees how to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade disasters and emergencies

Training Takes Place on Senior Citizens’ Days at the Fair, August 29 and 30

The New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps Training, a free disaster preparedness course, will return to the 2016 Great New York State Fair, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today.  The training sessions teach attendees how to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade disasters and emergencies.  A free backpack of resources will also be provided to participants. Registration for the training sessions are now underway on line on the New York State Prepare website.  

Two courses will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, August 29, and Tuesday, August 30 in the Empire Theater at the Art and Home Center on the Fairgrounds.  These trainings coincide with the Fair’s Senior Citizens’ Days, where senior citizens sixty years of age and older are offered free admission with ID showing their date of birth.

“We’re very excited to bring this essential training back to the Great New York State Fair,” said Waffner.  “We had a fantastic turnout last year and we’re pleased to once again host this important event that will help New Yorkers learn how to prepare for any emergency. This course will provide valuable information that people from across the state will benefit from long after the Fair is over.”

The training kicks off National Preparedness Month, a nationwide campaign conducted annually each September to increase public awareness about emergencies, with a focus on actions that can be taken before disaster strikes.  Due to its success, last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continued emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. 

The Citizen Preparedness Corps training curriculum was developed by experts from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Offices of Emergency Management (OEM) and Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) and is led by instructors from the New York National Guard.  All training sessions are coordinated with local county emergency management personnel and provide an introduction to responding to a natural or man-made disaster.

Participants will be advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies.  A key component of this training is the distribution of free New York State Disaster Preparedness Kits to all participants (one per family) containing key items to assist individuals in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  The state training and kits will help New Yorkers be the most-trained and best-prepared citizens in the country.

DHSES Commissioner John P. Melville said, “Preparedness for any type of emergency is essential for families, businesses and communities and we all need to do our part. The Citizen Preparedness Corps training is an important step to learn what to do when disaster strikes.”

Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Major General Anthony German said, “The men and women of the New York National Guard have learned the importance of being prepared for emergencies. The Soldiers and Airmen who conduct this training are proud to be doing their part to help fellow New Yorkers prepare for the worst. The New York State Fair is a great place to offer this training to people from around the state.”

Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for making Citizen Preparedness Corps Training available to one of our most vulnerable populations and their families. Since thousands of older adults will be attending the Great New York State Fair with their families and friends, it presents an ideal venue to reinforce the ongoing need to be prepared in the face of natural and or man-made disasters. I also thank the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball, General Patrick Murphy of the New York National Guard, and Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services John Melville for their partnership in bringing this training to older New Yorkers.”

The Citizen Preparedness Corps training takes place on Senior Citizens’ Days at the Fair, which drew more than 125,000 visitors last year.  There is a reception area for senior group bus and van parking. Fairgoers are also able to make use of the Fair’s free internal tram network on these two senior days with the service running from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Fairgoers with questions can contact the Art and Home Center office at 315-487-7711 ext. 1265.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016.  The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your Great," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.  Renderings can be viewed here

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter or nysfair on Snapchat and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

DHSES and its four offices – Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications – provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies.  For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit

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