New York State Association of Realtors is partnering with the New York State Emergency Management Office to provide Realtor assistance to relief and recovery efforts following any natural or manmade disaster in the state.

The state office is responsible for coordinating all activities necessary to protect New York’s communities from natural, technological and manmade disasters and other emergencies that threaten the state. In times of emergency or disaster, SEMO coordinates the response of state agencies and also works with local governments, volunteer organizations and the private sector to develop disaster preparedness plans.

Through this partnership, Realtors will play a role in SEMO’s relief efforts following a disaster by locating available housing for those families who need long-term temporary housing because of damage to their homes. Realtors will also identify available commercial space, such as vacant warehouses, which may be used for various necessary operations such as staging areas, temporary shelters or relief supply storage and distribution.

NYSAR, working with local Realtor associations, will coordinate a network of volunteer Realtor teams throughout the state. These local Realtor Response Teams will be activated in response to a request from SEMO. These Realtor team members will begin to gather information regarding available housing and commercial space, which SEMO will use to place families and establish necessary facilities.

“Realtors tend to be very civic-minded and involved in their communities, making this partnership with SEMO was a natural extension of our involvement,” said Joseph L. Canfora, president of the state association of Realtors. “Since we know our communities so well, we will be able to quickly give the emergency management office the information it needs to begin addressing the needs of those affected by the disaster situation.”

James W. Tuffey, SEMO director, said, “We welcome the New York State Association of Realtors onto the state team of public and private organizations. We share the common goal of protecting and helping New Yorkers in their time of need and the Realtors will add another resource so vital in these challenging times.”

The New York State Association of Realtors is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 55,000 real estate professionals in New York.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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