Press Release



Program participants created a more resilient community by connecting local community knowledge with the field of emergency management


August 2, 2021 — The New York City Emergency Management Department announced last week that nine community networks across the city have completed an intensive six-month Strengthening Communities through Recovery program. These networks represent a wide range of community groups that offer important social services in areas most deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These local leaders were taught how to build emergency preparedness plans that will support their communities before and after an emergency.  

The training program focused on five key areas to build an emergency plan specific to their communities:
  • Create a needs assessment review.
  • Design community maps of the area where they provide services. 
  • Build a directory of resources for after an emergency.
  • Prepare a communications strategy to message their staff before, during, and after emergencies.
  • Design plans on how to plans to manage donations and accept volunteers.
The program was funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Performance Grant, and the training was provided by NYC Emergency Management’s community engagement unit. To celebrate the completion of the program, the participants were honored during a virtual celebration that can be viewed here
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us all the importance of having a network of resources to assist New Yorkers during an emergency. The pandemic impacted every aspect of life from access to education, food, transportation, and medical resources. By training community groups in emergency planning resources, they are able to strengthen not only their own community, but New York City as a whole,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw emerging community groups and veteran organizations actively responding and meeting the needs of their communities. Strengthening Communities through Recovery provided an opportunity to meet community networks where they are, celebrate who they are and provide structure, systems, and moral support in establishing written emergency plans,” said NYC Emergency Management Director of Community Engagement Moriah Washington. “Because of the networks’ commitment to the process of organizing and preparing, our team is confident they each will know how to better navigate emergencies and the unexpected.”
The nine grant recipients reflect New York City’s diverse communities and showcase invaluable support provided by community organizations to the public. Each community group received a $40,000 grant to build its emergency preparedness plan and support local community resources. These groups will join the network of community partners coordinated through NYC Emergency Management’s community preparedness bureau.

“Preparation prevents panic. The Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition’s Queens Recovery & Resiliency Committee is so appreciative of the training and support offered through the NYC Emergency Management's Strengthening Communities through Recovery program. Developing written emergency response strategies will support interconnectivity and codify roles and responsibilities of our members, and has given the opportunity and tools to better prepare our Rockaway community,” said Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition Co-Chair Denean Ferguson.
The groups are:
  • Brooklyn - Academy of Medical & Public Health Services
  • Brooklyn - Entertainers for Education Alliance
  • Brooklyn - Haitian American Alliance of New York
  • Bronx - Mothers on the Move
  • Bronx - South Bronx Emergency Network
  • Manhattan - Harlem Emergency Network
  • Queens - Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition (FRANC)
  • Queens - Southeast Queens Emergency Network for Arts + Culture
  • Staten Island - Project Hospitality

NYC Emergency Management’s Community Engagement Unit

The community engagement unit helps local networks build capacity within their community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. This includes training classes and events, a Community Preparedness Council of community and faith-based organizations, and connecting established community networks to the City’s Emergency Operations Center during a disaster.

Emergency Management Performance Grant

The Emergency Management Performance Grant provides state, local, tribal and territorial emergency management agencies with the resources required for implementation of the National Preparedness System and works toward the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. The EMPG’s allowable costs support efforts to build and sustain core capabilities across the prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery mission areas. 


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