Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
#20-17


ACCESS FOR IMMIGRANTS DURING EMERGENCIES: NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HOSTS BREAKFAST FOR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY LEADERS

In honor of Immigrant Heritage Week, the New York City Emergency Management Department hosted a breakfast for immigrant community leaders on Thursday, April 20th with presentations by NYC Emergency Management, NYPD, FDNY, the American Red Cross, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on immigrant access and rights during emergencies. The presentations addressed access to services for immigrants during and after emergencies in New York City, how the City disseminates emergency information, and the resources available to New Yorkers to prepare for the hazards they may face in the city.

“Before, during, and after emergencies the City’s priority is making sure people are safe. We don’t want anyone to be afraid to seek help from the City,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “City services are available to all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status; our job is to help when help is needed most.” 

The breakfast included presentations about fire safety and medical response, emergency shelters, the City’s language access and community outreach programs, emergency preparedness, and the IDNYC municipal identification program. City officials answered questions regarding use of the information collected during and after emergencies and emphasized the City’s policy of not reporting immigration status when providing life safety and human services to New Yorkers.

During the breakfast, participants discussed the importance of having a government-issued identification card such as IDNYC – free and available to all residents of New York City. NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito also emphasized that emergency preparedness materials are available in the 12 most commonly spoken languages in the City, and important emergency and recovery information will also be translated into those languages. Additionally, language interpreters are available at shelters and service centers for New Yorkers who have been impacted by an emergency and need assistance.

About 50 community leaders from around the City attended the event at NYC Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn, including representatives from YMCA of Greater New York, the Shorefront Y, and the Polish and Slavic Center.

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