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Flushing BID to hold emergency preparedness seminar

After a fast−moving fire destroyed more than a half dozen businesses in downtown Flushing in October, the Flushing Business Improvement District is taking steps to make sure it does not happen again.

The Flushing BID announced last week it will hold an emergency preparedness seminar to educate business owners about how to be prepared for emergency situations.

“The seminar will help the businesses understand what happens in an emergency and what they have to do in order to receive city assistance,” said Peter Koo, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association. “We can’t control unforeseeable circumstances, but what responsible business owners can do is make sure their businesses are best prepared.”

More than a half dozen businesses were destroyed or sustained serious fire and water damage as a result of the fire, which started shortly after 2:30 a.m. Oct. 29.

Two salons, a psychic reader’s office, a Payless Shoe Source, a Taco Bell, a Pizza Hut and an apartment were destroyed in the blaze. The fire also caused problems at the nearby No. 7 subway station, although the station sustained no serious damage.

The free seminar, which will be held at the LaGuardia Sheraton East Hotel at 136−40 Roosevelt Ave., will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 29. Flushing BID Executive Director Mabel Law said the seminar will be geared toward informing business owners how best to prevent an emergency situation and how to adequately respond to one.

“Much of the follow−up assistance we and SBS have provided for the affected businesses since the Oct. 29 fire are related to the very steps that are taken for emergency preparation,” Law said. “We want to make sure that all of our businesses are ready and prepared in case of an emergency.”

Law said officials from the city Small Business Services Department, Queens Business Solutions Center, city Office of Emergency Management, city Department of Environmental Protection, city Department of Buildings, city Department of Housing, NYPD, city Department of Health and mayor’s Community Affairs Unit have provided information about grants and individualized counseling to business owners affected by the fire.

For more information about the Jan. 29 seminar, please call the Flushing BID at 718−888−1805.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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