I recently attended a training session through the NYS Citizen Preparedness Program and Farmingdale State University. The course itself was only a few hours and being it was the initial session it was mostly speeches by officials, including Governor Cuomo himself. There are a few things in the works that might be of interest to NY'ers. NYS is starting their own weather monitoring system similar to NOAA. The reason being is that due to the recent changes in weather patterns the Governor feels that he needs a better handle on weather emergencies. He states that he has been let down and led to make mistakes in deploying resources due to poor forcasting. This is currently in the implementation mode.
There is quite a bit of useful information on the nyprepare.gov website including a way to receive alerts on your smart phone or via email. You can customize this many ways, like amber alerts, weather alerts, terrorist alerts etc. you set the parameters.
All in all, I spent a few hours, was fed breakfast, received a nice suitable for framing certificate of completion and a really nice go bag (no joke, it is a good one full of practical things). Cost, free just go to the website and see when a class is coming to you and register online. That will officially make you a part of the NYS Citizen Preparedness Corps (I kid you not).