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Brooklyn court employees prepped for emergency situations

November 27, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Katelyn James (left) and Sonja Orgias (center) from the Office of Emergency Management were invited to Kings County Supreme Court by Charmaine Johnson (right) to give court employees a crash course on emergency preparation on Nov. 20. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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In times of trouble, the courts can be one of the first places that people look to for help, which is why it was important that court employees are well prepared for emergency situations.

On Monday, Nov. 20, a couple dozen employees of the Kings County Supreme Court attended a presentation by a pair of representatives of the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on what to do, how to prepare and what to know to handle all types of emergencies.

“These are tips to prepare us in case there is an emergency in New York City — things that we need to do, things that we need to be prepared for and what should we look for,” said Charmaine Johnson. “There has been an increase in big storms and hurricanes. We see on TV that people are often left scrambling because they don’t know what to do. A little preparation goes a long way towards helping people deal with intense situations.”

Katelyn James and Sonja Orgias from OEM gave a one-hour lecture on the various emergencies that could occur and how to prep for them. Orgias pointed out that being prepared often means not only preparing yourself, but loved ones as well.

“A lot of people know if they live in a hurricane zone, but they also need to know if their children’s school is in a hurricane zone or where the evacuation center is for an elderly family member who they look after,” Orgias said.

James and Orgias strongly recommended that everyone prepare a “go-bag,” or a backpack filled with essentials such as copies of identification, flashlights, a list of medications that you take, batteries, water bottles, a first-aid kit and cellphone chargers.

“Inside a go-bag are the things that you probably already have at home, but putting them in one centralized locations it makes it so much easier,” James said. “They’re not just useful for major emergencies, for instance, here in New York City, you are much more likely to need one for a fire than a hurricane, so they are more useful than you expect.”

The speakers handed out packets that gave tips on how to be prepared. It included information on evacuation routes, shelter locations and how to put together a plan. Information can be accessed online at That information is also available via the PlanNowNYC app.


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