Philipstown Prepares for the Next Emergency

Volunteers needed to staff local shelter

By Michael Turton

Memories of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy may have faded, but the American Red Cross is helping the Town of Philipstown prepare for its next serious emergency. The Red Cross delivered an emergency preparedness trailer to the Philipstown Recreation Center on Route 9D in Garrison on Nov. 4.

The 21-foot unit, stocked with 150 cots and 300 blankets, will be activated when the Recreation Center is converted for use as a public shelter during a future emergency. Larry Krantz, a Red Cross volunteer and head of logistics, based in Hawthorne, told The Paper a second trailer equipped with emergency supplies will also be available soon.

The Red Cross trailer contains cots, blankets and other supplies to be used when the Recreation Center serves an emergency shelter. (Photo by M. Turton)

The Red Cross trailer contains cots, blankets and other supplies to be used when the Recreation Center serves an emergency shelter. (Photo by M. Turton)

The trailers, provided at no cost to the town, are a collaborative effort of the Red Cross, the Town of Philipstown and Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services. The Red Cross will train local volunteers to staff the emergency shelter at a workshop to be held at the Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 9 a.m.

Philipstown residents at least 18 years of age can register by emailing recreation director Amber Stickle at or by calling 845-424 4618.

“People always ask how they can help during emergencies,” John Van Tassel, a member of the Town Board, said. “Being trained to staff the shelter is a perfect way to help, especially for those who can’t volunteer for local fire companies.”

Van Tassel was on hand for the trailer’s arrival along with fellow town board member Robert Flaherty, Putnam County legislator Barbara Scuccimarra and several Red Cross personnel.

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