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Partners in Preparedness

partners in preparedness

December 2014: Touro College
With campus locations across the United States and around the world, maintaining effective and flexible emergency plans, programs and initiatives is a core function of the Touro College Department of Emergency Preparedness. Under the leadership of Shoshana Yehudah, the department has employed the motto, "Failing to plan is planning to fail," as the foundation for the culture of preparedness at Touro. This has led to the establishment of comprehensive emergency plans and the development of diverse educational and outreach opportunities for the Touro community.

Among these, the Emergency Evacuation Coordinator (EEC) program, which offers training on the proper methods to mitigate and react to emergency situations, has been particularly successful, drawing more than 120 employees. As part of the program, EECs receive Incident Command System/National Incident Management System training as well. Other programs include CPR/AED training ("Save a Life, Save a World" program), and a recently added hands-on fire extinguisher training.

Outreach events, such as Emergency Preparedness Day and fire safety seminars, provide the department with an opportunity to distribute information to the Touro community — ranging from how to contact help at a Touro location to registering for Notify NYC — and foster an atmosphere of readiness. The EPICS Quarterly newsletter also informs employees on new initiatives and includes information relevant to employees' personal preparedness at home. Touro recognizes that preparedness is a never-ending process, and continuously motivates its students, faculty and staff to plan for emergencies.

November 2014: APG Asset Management US Inc. (APG US)
APG Asset Management US Inc. (APG US) is a registered investment adviser to Dutch-based APG. APG services industrywide Dutch pension funds, investing and safeguarding the pensions of 1-in-5 families in the Netherlands. An important part of APG US' responsibility to its clients is to plan and prepare for business disruptions.

Along with annual review and testing of the continuity plan, APG US builds a business continuity minded culture through ongoing awareness campaigns that engage and involve employees with a mix of information and fun.

This year, APG US held an internal Business Continuity Expo featuring representatives from NYC Emergency Management. The expo built on themes APG US had been communicating throughout the year, with an activity zone for each theme:
  • ZONE 1: Business preparedness included online information security quizzes and a business continuity temperament test, along with brochures from the NYC Emergency Management.
  • ZONE 2: Hurricane preparedness had a computer set up so employees could look up their personal hurricane evacuation zone and talk with NYC Emergency Management staff members who introduced them to other resources for hurricane preparedness. Each employee also picked up a company Go Bag customized to their role in the organization.
  • ZONE 3: Home preparedness gave APG US staff an opportunity to speak to more NYC Emergency Management staff members about personal/family emergency planning. NYC Emergency Management provided booklets for the staff to take home to their kids, as well as information about emergency plans for pets.
  • ZONE 4: Pandemic included an interactive display on social distancing showing how far away to stand if someone is sick (six feet). The event also coincided with the company's annual, on-site flu shot clinic, where employees learned more about how to protect their health.

October 2014: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
With 25 clinical facilities throughout New York and New Jersey and more than 13,000 employees, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest private cancer center. MSK's leadership recognizes that a well-prepared hospital is vital to the health of a community, and that a disaster-ready and resilient workforce is the foundation on which to achieve continuity of clinical operations. As a Partner in Preparedness, MSK undertakes a variety of preparedness activities to enhance its readiness. The success of its emergency preparedness program is a direct result of the multidisciplinary participation of departments who are actively involved in the planning process, as well as the support of MSK leadership.

MSK promotes a culture of preparedness and resiliency institution-wide by first introducing safety and emergency information at new employee orientation. Preparedness information for staff and patients is provided through a number of different channels, including the organization’s internal website.

MSK also uses the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) and has a dedicated HICS team at each of its facilities. All sites have a dedicated emergency information line for staff, as well as access to a mass notification system. Personnel at all facilities are provided with a site-specific emergency information lanyard card.

To ensure staffing resiliency, MSK offers a "Bed-in-a-Box" program that provides immediate accommodations for up to 450 staff members and includes a self-inflating mattress, linens, blanket, and two days’ worth of toiletries. Additionally, MSK has created an online tool for physicians and other clinical staff members to identify their work availability during emergencies; this allows leadership to effectively deploy staff as dictated by the needs of the emergency. Departments can use the same tool to request staffing assistance. Staffing resiliency is also supported by MSK's human resources department’s staff redeployment project, which cross-trained 450 MSK nonclinical staff members to perform clinical support duties. And in the event of an information systems outage, manual downtimes procedures can be implemented to support these functions.

MSK also employs data visualization tools to assess the impact that a disaster would have on the staff and patient population. These tools were used during the recent Long Island Railroad strike threat to determine impact to staff and departments and to develop a transportation contingency plan. After a natural disaster (such as a hurricane), this tool can be used to determine if a patient who is being discharged resides in a flood zone or an area without power. MSK also has installed an evacuation device on each hospital bed that reduces the time needed to evacuate nonambulatory patients.

September 2014: Steps to Become a Partner
During National Preparedness Month, Partners in Preparedness highlighted the five categories of preparedness activities required to become an official partner:
  1. Stay Connected
  2. Get Prepared
  3. Keep Your Plan Current
  4. Share Information
  5. Test Your Plan
View the Preparedness Activity Guide page for additional information.

August 2014: Allied Rockaway Foundation for Animal Recreation and Fitness
Allied Rockaway Foundation for Animal Recreation and Fitness (ARF-ARF) provides a healthy resource to foster the fitness and social growth of dogs and their owners, and educates pet owners and citizens in the Rockaway community about proper pet care. ARF-ARF is a steward of the Rockaway Freeway Dog Park -- one of the largest official dog parks within the five boroughs -- and works closely with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. ARF-ARF also has sponsored various activities to assist the homeless animal population in New York City. As a Partner in Preparedness, ARF-ARF understands the importance of emergency preparedness and recovery. After Hurricane Sandy, ARF-ARF assisted local groups and residents in the community, and continues to provide supplies to those in need. Additionally, the organization provides pet preparedness information through special events and social media; several members of ARF-ARF are part of the local Community Emergency Response Team, while others are certified in pet disaster recovery.

July 2014: Know Your Zone
OEM recently launched the "Know Your Zone" hurricane awareness campaign, which encourages New York City residents and businesses to find out whether they reside in one of the City's six hurricane evacuation zones, which were revised in 2013.

The Partners in Preparedness program encourages organizations to develop and maintain their continuity plans through a variety of activities. With hurricane season under way, it's important for organizations to be prepared for hurricanes and coastal storms. As part of the Know Your Zone efforts, Partners in Preparedness encourages all organizations to include the following steps in their emergency plans:
  • Send an email to your staff encouraging them to know what hurricane evacuation zone they live in. Remember: employees who are prepared at home are more likely to be able to help when an emergency occurs.
  • Download the Know Your Zone badge and display it on your organization's website, social media channel, or in an email signature.
  • Put your organization's preparedness on display: request a Know Your Zone window sticker that can be displayed in your place of business.
For additional tips and information visit the Know Your Zone website at

June 2014: Lower East Side Power Partnership
The Lower East Side Power Partnership (LESPP) is a collaborative effort where representatives from faith-based, community-based, health, local and resident groups, and active community volunteers come together to promote health and safety in the Lower East Side community. LESPP sponsors intergenerational community events that focus on safe streets, drug prevention, healthy living, and positive youth development. Most of these events include a presentation by a representative of the New York County District Attorney's Office.

LESPP is also involved in educating its community about preparedness through a number of initiatives, and believes it is important that emergency preparedness information gets out to the community in multiple languages so that all Lower East Side residents are informed and prepared when disaster strikes. For example, LESPP sponsored an intergenerational community night, "Superstorm Sandy: What Did We Learn," where representatives of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), American Red Cross, and elected officials came together to discuss how this emergency affected the Lower East Side. At this event, OEM materials (which were available in multiple languages) were distributed to attendees.

Many of LESPP's partners were involved in assisting the community after Sandy. One of LESPP's partners, DeWitt Reformed Church, provides a year-round food pantry, and during Sandy, the church expanded its role and served as a staging area for recovery efforts.

Recently, LESPP sponsored a community day, where a representative of the Fire Safety Education Unit of FDNY presented on home fire safety. Additionally, LESPP has provided American Red Cross Adult First Aid and CPR/AED training. LESPP plans to provide more of these events to further strengthen the community’s resilience.

May 2014: Macy's, Inc.
Macy's, Inc., one of the nation's premier retailers, operates under the Macy's and Bloomingdale's names and employs over 175,000 associates, with approximately 10,000 working at retail stores and corporate offices in New York City.

Macy's, Inc. understands that a well prepared workforce is important to the overall strength and resiliency of the enterprise, and is committed to providing its employees with the resources they need to be prepared both at work and at home. To enhance its existing program of employee awareness through regular fire, safety and evacuation drills, Macy's, Inc. looked to OEM's Partners in Preparedness program for advice, and became an official partner in 2013.

In the workplace, Macy's, Inc. is promoting and testing emergency communication procedures throughout the enterprise using existing resources that include an emergency information website, dedicated hotline and mass notification tool. In the event of a major business interruption, Macy's, Inc. is planning for employees operating from alternative worksites, as well as documenting business continuity plans for easy reference.

Some of the recent initiatives taken by Macy's, Inc. to foster a culture of preparedness include incorporating safety and emergency-related information into the employee orientation process and holding an emergency preparedness fair for employees in October, 2013. Representatives from the OEM, the American Red Cross and FEMA were invited to the event to educate employees on the importance of personal preparedness, and were joined by a nutritional expert who addressed food safety and preparation during emergencies. Educational materials were provided; magnets and key fobs providing emergency contact information were distributed, and sample Emergency Go-Kits were assembled and raffled off. Given the success of the event and the positive feedback received from employees, the fair will be repeated annually during Nation Preparedness Month in September.

Through continuing education and practice, Macy's, Inc. believes having their employees prepared for emergencies both at home and at work will make recovery efforts more successful for the company and its most important asset, its employees.

April 2014: Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is deeply committed to the safety and well-being of the company’s most valued asset — its employees. As an active member of Partners in Preparedness, Gap Inc. recognizes the importance of emergency preparedness at all of its global campuses. The company has a robust emergency plan, which includes various emergency preparedness initiatives, such as training and certifying employee volunteer fire warden teams in AED/CPR. During emergencies, Gap Inc. also has a comprehensive communication plan, which aims to keep employees informed in times of emergencies with up-to-date, technologically advanced solutions.

To further highlight its commitment to preparedness, Gap Inc. celebrates National Preparedness Month in September. This annual campaign allows Gap Inc. to raise awareness about personal and workplace preparedness at company sponsored safety fairs. These fairs include many community partners from law enforcement, fire prevention, American Red Cross, and OEM to provide preparedness and safety information to its employees.

Gap Inc. is passionate about providing employees a safe work environment where they can be comfortable and creative.

March 2014: CME Group
CME Group is the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. As a dedicated Partner in Preparedness, CME Group takes pride in its solid business continuity management and preparedness program, which is central to helping mitigate potential impacts to its employees, markets, and customers. This program is supported by a team of continuity professionals — located in Chicago, New York, Houston and London — which has worked toward a single goal: to build a more resilient marketplace while safeguarding its people and its systems. These employees serve on and participate in industry, sector and federal committees and groups that aim to enhance preparedness and increase resiliency.

CME Group also counts on its relationship with the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), as New York City is home to the company's NYMEX World Headquarters, and more than 300 employees. To mark National Preparedness Month in September 2013, CME Group hosted OEM Commissioner Joe Bruno — along with representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and New York and New Jersey State agencies — who came to talk to its employees about how they can take steps to better prepare themselves and their families before an emergency.

February 2014: WilmerHale
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) is an international law firm with 15 offices and approximately 2,500 employees, and has been a dedicated Partner in Preparedness since 2011. The firm has hosted Preparedness Day events in all of its offices worldwide since 2009. These events encourage employees to improve their personal emergency planning and provide a refresher for longtime employees on firm and office-specific emergency response procedures. Staff members from New York City's Office of Emergency Management have presented at the past three Preparedness Day events at WilmerHale's New York office, and firm employees appreciate the close relationship between the firm and city planners.

WilmerHale also conducts regular exercises to keep leadership teams familiar with communication tools and response procedures. Checklists, guidelines, planning tips and more are available to emergency team members and the larger firm community on the firm's internal and external websites. Recently, "Stay or Go" documents were posted in each person's office or workspace to provide quick access to important emergency response procedures. These documents include floor plans and building procedures, as well as specific directions for sudden emergencies, such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, medical emergencies, extreme weather, and workplace violence. Personal Evacuation Go Bags with essential supplies are available for everyone should evacuation or "sheltering place" is necessary. The firm also uses an externally-hosted website so important information is available at the time of an emergency. WilmerHale is always looking for innovative ways to ensure its attorneys, staff and on-site vendors have the information they need to act quickly to protect themselves, and minimize business disruptions when emergencies occur.

January 2014: The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging of Hunter College
Since 2006, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging has been funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to develop and manage the Adult Care Emergency Preparedness Program. Brookdale is working with a cohort of 10 adult care facilities to complete various emergency preparedness activities that will focus on strengthening these facilities' disaster plans. As part of this process, over the next six months, Brookdale will be providing technical and logistical support to the facilities as they take a proactive approach towards preparing their staff, residents, and facilities for emergencies. Activities that will be carried out will include facilitating a webinar series, conducting a hazard vulnerability assessment, administering the American Red Cross 123 Assessment (which measures an organization's level of preparedness), and assisting facilities with the completion of the action steps required to become a Partner in Preparedness.

The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging improves the lives of older adults through research, policy and professional development. From its location in East Harlem, staff members work with the operators, administrators and staff of adult care facilities in New York City on various emergency preparedness initiatives, and are engaged in developing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating cutting-edge programs and practices.

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