Rachelle May

Emergency Services Coordinator 

phone icon (716) 879-6685
fax icon (716) 879-6644
email icon Email

home icon 1835 Sheridan Dr.
      Buffalo, NY  14223

Office Hours

Wednesday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:00pm


The Town of Tonawanda Police Department’s Emergency Services Bureau mission is to assure the safety and health of all of its employees and residents before, during and after natural or man-made large scale emergencies. This is done through continuous evaluation of emergency plans, training and education, outreach and establishing public and private partnerships with both the business sector as well as community organizations.

The Town of Tonawanda Police Department’s Emergency Services Bureau was created in 2002. The main responsibility of this bureau is to conduct a hazard analysis of the Town to develop a plan identifying resources in order to address any hazard or emergency which might occur.  

The Bureau works very closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Erie County Department of Emergency Services and the United States Coast Guard.

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness can only be achieved through the active involvement of all citizens in the community.  Disasters are unplanned events and can be inconveniencing to our everyday lives. Through education and planning you can better prepare yourself to deal with such an incident. The Bureau maintains numerous programs to educate and promote citizen involvement in our community.

Emergency Preparedness for Kids: https://www.ready.gov/kids


Emergency Services FAQ's

Domestic pets may not be allowed at emergency shelters for health reasons. It is important to include your pet in you emergency plan since they depend on you to keep them safe. Identifying locations for you and your pet to go before an emergency happens is important. You can identify friends or family, hotels that accept pets, or contact your local pet shelter to see if they will accept pets in the event of an emergency. Find more information on preparing your pet for an emergency at: https://www.ready.gov/animals

The Town of Tonawanda's Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, program is based on the American tradition of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Prepare for Emergencies.” CERT training prepares citizens and communities to take a more active role in the county’s emergency preparedness and response efforts.  You can use your training to join a team or better prepare yourself

It is important to remember that not all emergencies or disasters are going to have the same effects or happen at the most convenient times. Therefore, having a plan can help safeguard you and your family. Town of Tonawanda residents need to prepare now for emergencies and disasters. Having a plan in place will reduce the amount of loss for both property and life. You should meet with all members of your household to discuss your plan. Talk with children about the different hazards and what to do if something should happen. Prepare a disaster supply kit and make sure it is adjusted to the number of people in your household. Also, make sure to include your pets when preparing for an emergency. There are simple, low-cost steps families can take to be ready. Please visit the following link for more information about preparing for an emergency: https://www.ready.gov/   https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4085/updates/building-supply-kit-your-family

If the power is out, you should listen to a battery powered or crank radio for shelter locations for you and your family to relocate. Also listen for evacuation routs specified by local authorities. Shelters will depend upon the location of the emergency. When evacuating, make sure you wear protective clothing, sturdy shoes and have your disaster supply kit. https://www.ready.gov/shelter


If the authorities advise you to Shelter-In-Place, you are to remain in your home or office (wherever you are at the time of the emergency) and protect yourself there. If there is a threat of contaminated outside air be sure to seal doors, windows and vents. Turn off all fans, heating and air-conditioning units. Go to an interior room with few windows if possible. Be sure to take your emergency supply kit with you, unless you believe it has been contaminated. Listen or watch local radio and television stations to stay updated on the latest information. 



Mass Care Shelter

Even though mass care shelters often provide water, food, medicine and basic sanitary facilities, you should plan to take your disaster supplies kit with you so you will have the supplies you require. Mass care sheltering can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult and unpleasant. To avoid conflicts in the stressful situation, it is important to cooperate with shelter managers and others assisting them. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages and weapons are forbidden in emergency shelters and smoking is restricted.

Search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362. Ex: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply)

Learn more by visiting: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

You should have enough supplies in your disaster kit to ensure each member of your family can be self-sufficient for at least 3 days. Some things to include are:

  • water (1 gallon per day per person)
  • food (nonperishable and easy to prepare)
  • can opener
  • first-aid kit
  • flashlights
  • extra batteries
  • medicines and medical items
  • a multipurpose tool to turn off utilities
  • sanitation and hygiene items
  • copies of personal documents
  • blankets/sleeping bags
  • extra cash, credit card, and/or cashier’s check
  • list of important numbers
  • a whistle to signal for help
  • dust masks
  • local maps
  • battery-powered or hand crank radio

You can find out more through FEMAs Ready Campaign at: https://www.ready.gov/

Important Emergency Services Links


Ready Erie Preparedness Mobile App

ReadyErie app graphic

The new “Ready Erie” app is available for free and is designed for the iPhone, iPad, android and iOS systems. The multi-purpose app will allow users to receive critical information and emergency alerts through push notifications, locate Erie County’s emergency shelters, view up-to-date evacuation route maps, and create a personalized Emergency Preparedness Plan by answering five basic questions.Among the Ready Erie app’s other features are the ability to share your status with selected contacts on your device and get the latest news and weather for Erie County. Users who create a personalized Emergency Management Plan will be able to store the Plan on their device to share with family and friends. Every individual’s Plan will include and Emergency Supply kit Checklist tailored to their needs; a Customized Emergency Food Supply Shopping List; an Emergency Communications Plan to notify loved ones of the individual’s status; and information to prepare your home for impending disaster. The app also provides an opportunity to learn about the various emergency situations that Erie County residents are most likely to face in five integrated eGuides.

“The Ready Erie app takes emergency planning and preparedness to the next level and will give users the information they need at the time they need it, helping them and their loved ones to respond to emergencies in a safe and organized manner,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “With this app we can communicate directly with our constituents, individuals can have access to critical alerts and updates to coordinate planning with family or co-workers, and stay on top of changing conditions. The app also has useful information on ways to prepare before disaster strikes, helping to mitigate damage and protect lives.

To download please follow this link:



Special Needs Registry Form

Everybody Has Needs - Do the Right People Know What Yours Are? 

If you or someone in your household has a disability or a special medical need, the people whose job it is to respond when you call for help in an emergency need to know. Whether it affects your entire community, your street or just your home, seconds can make a life-or-death difference. Having specific details on file about your special situation will significantly help us help you.
Please click this link to submit your information

Alternatively you can download the documents to fill out and send in to our Police Department 

PDF Download Here

Microsoft Word DOC Download Here 


Business and Commercial Property Emergency Notification Information

Please fill out the online form to provide the Police Department with your notification information in the event of an emergency at your business during unoccupied hours.