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What does a State of Emergency mean?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: What does a State of Emergency mean?
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Several New York municipalities issued States of Emergency because of this week's storm. YNN's Erin Clarke explains just what that means for a county and its residents.

NEW YORK STATE -- A devastating storm hits and we often hear that our counties are under a State of Emergency, but what does that mean?

"It's purpose is to let people know that something is happening out there that requires their attention and really would require them to limit their travel," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.

Officials hope this notifies employers that getting around might be tough or even impossible for their employees. However, they realize that workers in health care, law enforcement and in the case of severe weather, DPW are still needed on the job. That's another reason why a State of Emergency is issued. It allows counties to apply for state then federal help to rebuild and pay the workers who do that.

"We add up that damage, the over time, any cost, men material anything along those lines and we see how high, if we've met the threshold to go to the state and say this is where we're at right now," said Oneida County Emergency Services Director, Kevin Revere.

Issuing that State of Emergency not only helps with county costs. It also helps business and homeowners.

"We also need to make sure that whatever is available for our residents is out there and without being in a State of Emergency and clearly identifying what our problems are, we would be lost," said Picente.

However, private recovery aid must be applied for through FEMA by the individual business or homeowner. These processes vary depending on local law. What remains the same, though, is that a State of Emergency is necessary to protect the community and help its members get back on their feet.

Oneida County residents looking for more information regarding a State of Emergency can visit www.ocgov.net.

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