If you want to be an insurance disaster liaison in New York state, you might want to keep a toothbrush in your pocket.[@@]

The New York department has spelled out disaster liaison requirements in Circular Letter Number 23 (2005), which applies to health carriers in the state.

The department already has issued a disaster planning circular letter for property-casualty insurers in 2004, and it says it hopes to issue a letter for life insurers later this year.

New York State Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills says in the health carrier letter that health carriers should file disaster preparedness plans each year.

Mills also gives some information about how New York expects to run its Insurance Emergency Operations Center.

The IEOC will probably open up at a location in Albany or a location in New York, and the New York department will try to provide working voice and data telephone lines along with videoconferencing links to state emergency management officials.

If a health carrier needs to supply a disaster liaison, the liaison should be prepared to work at the insurance emergency operations center at least 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, “or for such time periods as necessary to assist with the effective management of the disaster,” Mills writes in the circular letter. “Depending on the level of the disaster, this may be a 7-day-a-week commitment.”

The New York circular letter is on the Web at http://www.ins.state.ny.us/cl05_23.htm