The New York City Emergency Management Department today launched a new Community Emergency Planning toolkit designed to guide communities from Harlem to Hollis through developing their own emergency plans.NYC Emergency Management and the Mayor’s Center for Faith and Community Partnerships introduced the new toolkit at an interfaith breakfast hosted at Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn. The toolkit provides community and faith-based leaders with the blueprint to developing more resilient communities through the process of identifying networks, building new connections and increasing their capacity to organize resources.
“Time and again we have seen our clergy and community leaders come to the aid of their friends and neighbors when emergencies occur throughout the city,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “This new toolkit is the template our leaders can use to build robust emergency plans throughout their local communities.”
“When Hurricane Sandy hit, faith and community leaders played a key role in serving New Yorkers,” said Jonathan Soto, Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships. “We want to keep fostering leadership in our communities, armed with City information and services available in times of need so that we may better serve every New Yorker.”
NYC Emergency Management’s toolkit is an interactive booklet tailored to any community, and can be used by congregations, housing developments, tenant or civic associations, community boards or coalitions, community-based organizations, or Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). From emergencies like hurricanes and heat waves to fires and utility disruptions, the toolkit reviews the varying threats and hazards New Yorkers may face and provides an overview of the key response roles communities can play to mitigate risks. The toolkit also outlines five key steps to developing a community emergency plan:
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- Get Organized – Set goals and milestones for your planning process. Next, identify how your lead team and the larger network will organize and communicate during emergency and non-emergency times.
- Define Your Community – Compile information about your community that will help you develop an emergency plan. Record your findings in the community overview section of your emergency plan template.
- Map Your Community – Identify resources in your community that may be of use during emergencies and record them in your emergency plan.
- Build An Emergency Network – Use your community resource directory to build a network of contacts and key partners who may play a valuable role in an emergency response.
- Plan Inclusively – Consider everyone in your planning. Be familiar with the services required for people with disabilities, access, or functional needs. Identify partners in your community who can help your plan address various needs.
The Mayor’s Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will be housed within the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and led by Jonathan Soto. The center will serve as a direct line to City Hall, connecting local and citywide coalitions of leaders to services that increase equity and inspire civic engagement throughout neighborhoods.
Photo Credit: NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. NYC Emergency Management.