Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions
curve gif

[January 16,2008]


Experts from New York and across the nation gathered recently to discuss how better to prepare New York City and State from a terrorist attack or natural disaster, at the first major conference held by Protect New York, a professional society originated in 2006 at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The two-day conference was held at SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce, in Manhattan.

In announcing the conference, organizer Dr. Ernest Sternberg said, "The biggest threats to New York City today are terrorism, pandemic flu, and coastal surge from an off-shore hurricane." Accordingly, the meeting highlighted advances in protection and response for these scenarios and other potential disasters in New York City and throughout the state. Dr. Sternberg, president of Protect New York, teaches at the University at Buffalo and studies the process of decision-making in crisis situations.

More than 50 researchers, many from State University of New York and private New York State colleges and universities, presented their research and exchanged ideas in a series of panel discussions. Representatives from the FBI, Office of Homeland Security, Association of Fire Chiefs, and the state Department of Transportation also participated.

Conference sessions addressed a broad range of security and disaster-response topics, including transportation security in New York City; border security; behavioral screening at security checkpoints; securing the state's critical infrastructure; radiation emergencies; disaster-response ethics; hospital and emergency-medicine capacity during a disaster; security technologies; emergency logistics and training for all-hazard events; and behavioral approaches to security at airports and other checkpoints, among other subjects.

Organized by Protect New York, the meeting was sponsored by the New York State Office of Homeland Security and MCEER, an academic institute that studies disaster response headquartered at SUNY Buffalo.

For more information about Protect New York, please visit For additional information about SUNY Downstate Medical Center, go to