Requires the division of homeland security and emergency services to provide recommendations on the implementation of tornado warning systems in the state, on the installation of tornado sirens and on the use of firehouse sirens; requires the division to also make recommendations on the use of other technology available for notification of impending tornado.
Ayes (63): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring the division of homeland security and emergency services to provide recommendations on the implementation of tornado warning systems in the state
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: The division of homeland security and emergency services shall issue, analyze and report recommendations on the implementation of tornado warning systems, including the installation of tornado sirens in municipalities across the state in order to add redundancy to warning systems that could be rendered useless due to power loss from major disasters.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 711-a to read as follows:
711-a. Report on tornado warning system. 1. The division shall analyze and report recommendations on the implementation of tornado warning systems, including the installation of tornado sirens in municipalities across the state. Such report shall determine whether municipalities should install tornado sirens. Additionally, the division shall provide recommendations on the placement of tornado sirens and whether they should be located near schools, hospitals, sports facilities, colleges or other populated areas.
2. The division shall analyze and report on the use of firehouse sirens as possible notification to the surrounding community of an impending tornado and the type of public education necessary to carry out such program.
3. The division shall also recommend other technologies to be used to issue tornado warnings such as text messages to cell phones and the systems necessary to carry out an emergency text message system.
4. The recommendations required pursuant to this section shall include the cost benefit analysis of a tornado warning system and possible funding mechanisms for the implementation of a tornado warning system.
5. The division shall issue the report to the governor and the legislature on or before March first, two thousand fourteen.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: In 2012 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data indicating that 100 million more Americans now face tornado risks due to changes in the planet's weather patterns, including those impacting the United States.
Over the past few years, the United States and New York have been heavily impacted by severe weather including increased rate of tornados and tornados occurring on areas with higher population densities.
Yet, unlike states with a history of tornados, New York State does not have a tornado warning system in place to warn its residents of the impending danger.
According to a report released in the spring of 2013 by Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo which examined 62 years of tornado activity in New York State, 69% of the 407 tornadoes that have impacted New York since 1950 have occurred since 1986, increasing in frequency over the past decade.
This report documents an almost 600% increase in tornadoes impacting New York since 1970. The prior 20 years (1950-70) only saw 47 tornadoes. NYC has seen a 300% increase with 9 tornadoes in 10 years and none ever recorded prior to 1985.
278 tornadoes have hit New York since 1986 and have injured over 300 of our residents and caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage. Tornadoes now pose a tremendous risk to all of New York's more than 19 million residents.
Based on a growing body of scientific evidence and recent tornado events in New York and other locations around the nation, the need is clear for New York to examine how it will implement public safety policies with regards to this dangerous and deadly natural phenomenon.
In 2013 NOAA predicted 21 Atlantic Ocean hurricanes with as many as six becoming major threatening storms that will impact the eastern coast of the United States, including New York. These hurricanes will spin off tornados that will pose threat to life and property.
Without a proper warning system in place to address the growing intensity and prevalence of severe weather, New York is neglecting to address a major public safety issue that could potentially lead to the loss of life in numbers never before experienced in our history.
This legislation begins the overdue process of planning on which, how and where tornado warning systems will be located, installed and operated in our state. Because reliance on cell phones and computer notification systems would be rendered useless in event of major power loss and cell tower damage, redundancy in a warning system should be a priority.
With the vast majority of the tornadoes taking place in Upstate communities with sprawling suburbs and growing rates of occurrences in NYC, this issue should be a priority for and nonpartisan effort to improve public safety.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Legislation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5790 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 14, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Securi- ty and Military Affairs AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring the division of homeland security and emergency services to provide recommendations on the implementation of tornado warning systems in the state THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 711-a to read as follows: S 711-A. ANALYZE AND REPORT ON THE FEASIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTING TORNADO WARNING SYSTEMS. 1. THE DIVISION SHALL ANALYZE AND REPORT ON THE FEASI- BILITY OF IMPLEMENTING TORNADO WARNING SYSTEMS, INCLUDING THE INSTALLA- TION OF TORNADO SIRENS IN MUNICIPALITIES ACROSS THE STATE. SUCH EXAMINA- TION SHALL INCLUDE DETERMINING WHETHER CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES SHOULD INSTALL TORNADO SIRENS, THE POTENTIAL PLACEMENT OF TORNADO SIRENS AND WHETHER THEY SHOULD BE LOCATED NEAR SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, SPORTS FACILI- TIES, COLLEGES OR OTHER POPULATED AREAS. 2. THE DIVISION SHALL ANALYZE AND REPORT ON THE USE OF FIREHOUSE SIRENS AS POSSIBLE NOTIFICATION TO THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY OF AN IMPENDING TORNADO AND THE TYPE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT SUCH PROGRAM. 3. THE DIVISION SHALL ALSO RECOMMEND OTHER TECHNOLOGIES TO BE USED TO ISSUE TORNADO WARNINGS SUCH AS TEXT MESSAGES TO CELL PHONES AND THE SYSTEMS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT AN EMERGENCY TEXT MESSAGE SYSTEM. 4. THE RECOMMENDATIONS REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF IMPLEMENTING A TORNADO WARNING SYSTEM AND POSSIBLE FUNDING MECHANISMS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A TORNADO WARNING SYSTEM. 5. THE DIVISION SHALL ISSUE THE REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGIS- LATURE ON OR BEFORE MARCH FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11217-03-3