aerial view of central park in new york

Photo by Zeeshaan Shabbir on

Program participants will build emergency preparedness plans for their communities

The New York City Emergency Management Department welcomes 21community networks across the city into the Strengthening Communities program. Each community network will receive a $40,000 grant to build a local emergency preparedness plan for their community. These networks represent a wide range of community groups that offer important services in areas most deeply affected by such emergencies as the COVID-19 pandemic and coastal storms. These local leaders will be provided resources and training to build emergency preparedness plans to better support their communities before and after an emergency. The 21 participating networks will begin a rigorous five-month educational experience to develop a local community emergency plan.

This brings the total number of networks participating in the program to 37, with seven networks completing the inaugural program in 2020 and nine networks completing the program in 2021. Orientation for the new members was held on January 19. The training program focuses on five key areas to build an emergency plan specific to their communities: 

  • Create a needs assessment.
  • 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 community and staff before, during, and after emergencies.
  • Design plans on how to manage donations and accept volunteers.

 “NYC Emergency Management’s mission is to prepare New Yorkers for emergencies, but we cannot do that without the assistance of our community partners,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Our Strengthening Communities program helps us do that by providing communities with the training and resources they need to prepare all New Yorkers with extensive emergency planning and preparation.”

“Strengthening Communities allows our agency to engage with small hyperlocal grassroot coalitions to assist in the development of community emergency plans,” said NYC Emergency Management Director of Community Engagement Moriah Washington. “We are thrilled to onboard 21 new participating networks to our already 16 alumni networks. While communities are being strengthened so are collaborative cohesive relationships between the City and our community networks. We build on our collective relationships while providing additional tools and resources.”

The 21 grant recipients reflect New York City’s diverse communities and showcase invaluable support provided by community organizations to the public. These participants will join the network of community partners coordinated through NYC Emergency Management’s community preparedness unit. 

The networks are:


  • Coalition of Pakistani Community Organizations Active in Disasters
  • BHRAGS Alliance
  • Coney Island Beautification Project
  • Red Hook Initiative
  • United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, Inc.
  • Yemeni American Merchants Association


  • East Bronx COAD
  • The Groundswell Project
  • Gambian Youth Organization


  • Independent Living Center Coalition for Emergency Preparedness (ILCCEP)
  • Muslim Community Network (MCN)


  • Athletes Artists Activists
  • East Harlem COAD
  • NAACP MID- Manhattan
  • United SIKHS.


  • Community Inclusion & Development Alliance (CIDA)
  • Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York
  • Project New Yorker
  • Woodside on the Move

Staten Island

  • Community Partnership Initiative
  • Staten Island Urban Center

Community networks interested in becoming a partner can find out more information about the Strengthening Communities program by checking out the latest video or visiting

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.

Leave a Reply