ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- When village officials and personnel sat in the narrow hallways of the Police Department to coordinate Elmsford’s emergency response to the Northeast blackout of 2003, having an emergency operations center wasn’t even an afterthought.
When the nor’easter of April 2007 hit Elmsford the village was prepared thanks to the Elmsford Emergency Operations Center (EOC) created a year earlier.
“The Village of Elmsford’s new improved, updated and more efficient renovations (to the EOC) will help protect property and save lives,” said Mayor Robert Williams, during the Operations Center re-dedication ceremony on Monday.
The EOC’s new features came courtesy of a $165,000 grant U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, secured with federal funds derived from the 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.
“If this has made a difference, I am proud,” said Lowey, who is running for re-election to a fourteenth term, at Monday night’s event. “It’s the mayor and the team that have used it in good health.”
Elmsford, the third smallest municipality in Westchester, has been praised for its EOC and has served as example to other municipalities, including the City of Yonkers, on how to prepare for potential disasters and emergencies.
According to Williams, the former Program Administrator for the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services Neil Sweeting said in 2007 that visiting Elmsford’s EOC was “enlightening” and that the village was “by far one of the best prepared municipalities in the county” among places like the Town of North Castle, Pound Ridge and White Plains.
The final touches were put on the EOC earlier this week. The EOC is a conference room located in the police department, at 15 S. Stone Ave., for various officials — village, school district, utility company and county — during an emergency.
There’s plenty of outlets to plug in and charge electronics, as well as various Internet and phone lines from different providers.
It’s stocked with computers; iPads that can be brought into the field, so officials back at the EOC can learn where downed trees and flooding occur through iPad video in the field; two large 60-inch screen TVs that each show four displays, so the Village can watch different news and informational channels at once; its own weather channel; a SMART Board to map out, power outages; maps of Elmsford; and various emergency plans.
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