Hoboken Community Emergency Response coordinator Lou Casciano was honored at the White House this week for his role in preparing the city to effectively respond to Superstorm Sandy.
Casciano, a three-year CERT volunteer who was named the team's coordinator in June 2012, was one of 18 individuals across the country recognized by the Administration as a Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change."
Mayor Dawn Zimmer praised Casciano and the CERT team, which was named "Community Preparedness Heroes," by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its work distributing Sandy information flyers to the Hoboken Housing Authority, manning the city's emergency operations center and organizing volunteers in the storm's aftermath.
“Lou Casciano and our CERT volunteers helped save lives during Hurricane Sandy,” Zimmer said in a statement. “I congratulate them on this incredible honor and thank them for their ongoing work to educate and prepare our community for future emergencies through the Hoboken Ready initiative. Their efforts are an essential part of a comprehensive plan to make Hoboken more resilient.”
Casciano developed numerous emergency techniques and protocols following Hurricane Irene that proved invaluable during Superstorm Sandy, including identifying and training volunteer leaders, managing points of distribution throughout the city and opening Hoboken High School as a collection and distribution center for food and donations, according to a city statement.
He was appointed as Operations and Training Officer for the Office of Emergency Management in August.