Written by: Priscilla Lino/Photos by: Clifford Dickson
So, I arrived at the Press Gate at Madison Square Garden for the St. Johns vs West Virginia game in New York City and checked my bags. There, myself and Photographer, Clifford Dickson were given our press passes- Awesome. Our names were written and Bronx Mama Blog directly underneath. We met with Judith Kane, Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Director of Communications. Judith set us up in the press area where we were able to unpack and get ready to meet the commissioner. Meeting the commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management was an honor. Honestly I must say the commissioner is proficient at what he does. He has a team of hard-working staff and they all serve a purpose- safety planning, preparing and responding to emergencies.
Here is how the interview went:
Priscilla: Hello my name is Priscilla, I will be interviewing you and the Photographer is Clifford, he will be videotaping and taking our photograph.
Commissioner of OEM: Nice to meet you both.
Priscilla: Thank You
Clifford: Nice to meet you commissioner
Commissioner of OEM: So tell me about Bronx Mama
Priscilla: Bronx Mama is a blog that was started for mothers/parents in the Bronx community to inform them about activities, events, culture and resources in the Bronx.
Commissioner of OEM: That sounds interesting
Priscilla: Yes it is very informative.
Priscilla: So commissioner, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us what you do.
Commissioner of OEM: My name is Joseph Bruno and I am the Commissioner for the New York City Office of Emergency Management. The OEM is responsible for oversight and development of the City’s emergency management plans. Also runs the Notify NYC emergency alert program, by which citizens can sign up to receive phone and email alerts about emergencies and events happening in their neighborhoods.
Priscilla: Wow. That is a great responsibility Commissioner. What advice would you give to people who are not prepared for emergencies and don’t take preparing for one serious.
Commissioner of OEM: Well first I would like to say have a safety plan. A safety plan consists of friends, relatives, neighbors, people that you can trust and call in an emergency. Second you need to have communication- a cell phone, home phone. Always let someone know where you are. Keep a bag that consists of important materials you would want should something come up. The bag should also be in a place you can get to and someplace you would remember placing it.
Priscilla: That is great information commissioner and very helpful. Many people do not prepare and do not feel it is necessary to worry about emergencies.
Commissioner OEM: They should because accidents and emergencies do happen.
Commissioner of OEM: You know Priscilla you seem very into preparing and informing people on what to do in order to be ready for an emergency.
Priscilla Lino: Thank you Commissioner.
Priscilla Lino: For someone like myself or someone that just wanted to be a volunteer and help prepare others for emergencies, does OEM allow people to help out?
Commissioner of OEM: Actually I am glad you asked this question. The OEM has many volunteers and they are all trained in preparing for emergencies and safety planning. Ready New York is a program OEM started in 2003 that helps people prepare for emergencies. Through Ready New York, people are able to call 311 to learn more about preparing or visit our website at www.nyc.gov/readyny OEM has also partner -shipped with NYC schools with a program called Ready Schools to teach children how to prepare for emergencies.
Priscilla: That is excellent Commissioner. Now that we have discussed your partnerships with programs to prepare for emergencies, let’s discuss your partnership with St. Johns University. How did it start?
Commissioner of OEM: I attended St. John’s University Law School and earned my J.D there. I have a long time relationship with St. John’s. but I wont say how long because that would be telling my age.
Priscilla: ok that is fine. You can tell me afterwards when the cameras go off.
Commissioner and Priscilla laughs.
Priscilla: Well Commissioner I must say it has been a pleasure speaking with you and learning what you do for the city. Will you be watching the game?
Commissioner of OEM: You bet I will.
Priscilla: so will I, the game should be starting soon. Enjoy the game Commissioner.
Commissioner of OEM: You too Priscilla.
Commissioner of OEM: And thank you Clifford.
Clifford: No problem it was my pleasure.