Press Release

For Immediate Release


February 14, 2018 - The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene held an emergency preparedness training for dozens of faith leaders in The Bronx, on Tuesday, February 13. During the training, interfaith leaders from across The Bronx learned the basics of preparedness, including how to write an emergency plan, gather supplies, and stay informed before, during, and after an emergency.

“During emergencies, New Yorkers often look to their houses of worship for support,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “Training faith leaders equips them with the tools and resources necessary to educate their worshippers on the importance of preparedness in their congregations and communities.” 

“Neighborhoods are resilient, but the threat of emergencies still exist,” said Dr. Aletha Maybank, Deputy Commissioner and Director of the Center for Health Equity. “The partnership between our Action Centers, faith leaders, and NYC Emergency Management prepares neighborhoods to enhance their response during emergencies so that all people can stay safe and healthy.”

The training provided faith leaders with an overview of how New York City prepares for and responds to emergencies. Presenters from NYC Emergency Management’s Ready New York public education program detailed the resources available to assist in preparing communities for emergencies including: printed guides (available in 13 languages), preparedness videos, and Notify NYC, New York’s official source for information about emergency events and important City services.       

 “Right now, I’m sure my congregation is unaware that they should have a Go Bag, stay informed, and have a plan in place in case of an emergency. After taking this workshop, I will go back armed with information and additional resources to provide to my congregation,” said Reverend Wendy Kelly-Carter of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church.

“I think it is very, very important that we all are prepared for emergencies. That is why the training was so important. We can now take back the information and materials to our congregations in hopes that people do more to prepare themselves,” said Lorraine Taylor-Bogle, House Ministry Director for the Victory Seventh Day Adventist Church.
“I didn’t realize the importance of emergency preparedness before I attended this training,” said Ramatu Ahmed Coordinator of the Council of African Imams. “It is important for us to start the conversation about preparation in our homes and in our communities.”

The preparedness training is part of an ongoing partnership between NYC Emergency Management’s Ready New York public education program and the New York City Health Department’s Center for Health Equity. In 2017, the partnership trained faith leaders in the Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods of Brooklyn.         

About the Center for Health Equity

The Center for Health Equity works toward a fair and healthy New York where all residents—regardless of their zip code—have the opportunity to lead their healthiest lives. As a division of the New York City Health Department, the Center for Health Equity strengthens the agency’s goal to eliminate health inequities, or unjust differences in health outcomes, for residents in neighborhoods impacted by racism and long-term disinvestment by organizations and institutions. The Center uses data and storytelling to highlight injustices, influencing policy, systems, and environmental change, and implementing neighborhood-based strategies to foster health.
The Center for Health Equity’s Neighborhood Health Action Centers work to address the root causes of health inequities in East Harlem, the South Bronx, and Central and East Brooklyn. The Action Centers offer coordinated health and social services, as well as community programs under one roof. They also provide hubs for people to become involved in efforts to improve the health of their neighborhoods.

Ready New York Program

The Ready New York program outlines three important strategies to preparing for emergencies:

  • Make a Plan: Do not go through emergencies alone. Have at least two people in your emergency support network. Have at least two phone numbers – one local and one out-of- state number – which you can call in an emergency.
  • Gather Supplies: During emergencies that require you to stay at home, it is important to have extra food and water for everyone in the house and a battery-operated radio for news updates. During emergencies that require you to leave your home, have a Go Bag with emergency supplies.
  • Get Informed: Know evacuation plans for all the places you and your household members spend time. Determine whether you live in a hurricane evacuation zone by accessing the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder, or contact 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115)


MEDIA CONTACT:    Omar Bourne/Justin Bennett (NYC Emergency Management) (718) 422-4888

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