Press Release



More than 28,000 NYC students were trained through the Ready Schools program this year

June 5, 2017 — The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Education will present the Ready School of the Year Award to Principal Tara OBrien, I.A., at P.S. 207 in the Bronx, for its outstanding commitment to preparedness education. The Ready School of the Year Award is presented annually by NYC Emergency Management and the NYC Department of Education to a school with exemplary commitment to emergency preparedness.

During the 2016-2017 school year, P.S. 207 experienced a flood in its kitchen which required a complete evacuation. The school had a dedicated building response team with Go Bags at the ready and sprang into action. Students were safely relocated to a neighboring school for the day. Following this incident, Principal OBrien I.A. and her staff designed an English Language Arts unit of study dedicated to safety, in which students created posters, wrote persuasive essays, designed brochures, and created scripts for safety videos.   

“The teachers and students at P.S. 207 knew the importance of having an emergency plan, andthey were prepared when they had to put that plan into action,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “For their commitment to emergency preparedness, we are proud to honor P.S. 207 with the 2017 Ready School of the Year Award.”

With a strong commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, Principal OBrien I.A. and Acting Assistant Principal Andrea Feldman have instituted several safety and preparedness initiatives since being assigned to P.S. 207 in the fall of 2016.

“P.S. 207 has undergone many significant changes over the 2016-2017 school year. In August of 2016, after being identified by the state as a persistently dangerous school, our community came together to hi-light the importance of safety in the lives of our children,” said Principal Assigned Tara OBrien. “As a new administrative team, we have placed tremendous emphasis on the importance of working collaboratively with the community to create a child-centered, engaging, safe and supportive learning environment. Based on the progress made, we are being recommended by the NYC Department of Education for removal from the persistently dangerous list as of the summer of 2017. We are grateful and proud that these changes have been noted by NYC Emergency Management.”     

During the 2016-2017 school year, NYC Emergency Management’s Ready New York program hosted over 200 presentations in NYC schools and trained more than 28,000 students in preparedness. These included providing schools with Ready Kids Guides, which are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, as well as an audio format available to parents and teachers on the website.

About the Ready Schools Initiative

During fall 2007, NYC Emergency Management and DOE launched the Ready New York for Kids preparedness program. In 2008, NYC Emergency Management and DOE created a curriculum for children and teens to educate them on the importance of preparedness. To date, NYC Emergency Management staff have visited 700 schools, conducted 1,200 workshops and assemblies, and trained more than 120,000 students.

Ready Schools focuses on three key messages:

  • Get Ready: Make a Plan – Have at least two phone numbers – one local and one out-of- state number – you can call in an emergency and practice the plan with adults in your home.

  • Get Set: Prepare a Stay-at-Home Kit – During emergencies that require you to stay at home, have extra food and water for all family members and a battery-operated radio for news updates.

  • Get Ready to Go: Pack a Go Bag – During emergencies that require you to leave your home, have a Go Bag with emergency supplies.


MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Silvestri/Justin Bennett (718) 422-4888

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