Press Release

For Immediate Release


New York City’s Immigrant Heritage Week runs from April 15 - 21

April 18, 2019 – In honor of Immigrant Heritage Week, NYC Emergency Management collaborated with the Tenement Museum to host an emergency preparedness presentation and free tour for local organizations and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes on Wednesday, April 17.  Established in 2004 and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Immigrant Heritage Week is a citywide celebration that honors the experiences and contributions of immigrants in New York City. Organizations at the event included University Settlement, Grand Street Settlement, Henry Street Settlement, Chinatown YMCA New American Welcome Center, and the Asian Health and Social Services Council.

“We understand that New York City is a very diverse place, that’s why we take the steps to ensure that the message of emergency preparedness reaches New Yorkers of all backgrounds,” New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said. “New York City Emergency Management will continue to assist immigrant communities as they work to build more resilient neighborhoods.”

“New York City is home to 3.2 million immigrants, including many who have limited English proficiency. I commend NYC Emergency Management for helping ensure that emergency preparedness resources are accessible to all New Yorkers, no matter the language you speak,” Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Bitta Mostofi said. “What better partnership than with the historical Tenement Museum, recognizing our history as the ultimate city of immigrants.”

NYC Emergency Management conducted a Ready New York preparedness presentation to teach participants how to prepare for various emergencies. Attendees learned how to write an emergency plan, gather supplies, and prepare a Go Bag. After the presentation, Tenement Museum staff provided free tours of the museum to participants.

“New York exemplifies our nation’s diversity with people from all over the world, representing myriad cultures, as our neighbors. Our city’s public initiatives need to be responsive to this diversity, especially when it comes to life-saving emergency services,” Congress Member Nydia Velasquez said.  “I’m pleased to see NYC Emergency Management working proactively to reach New Yorkers of all backgrounds with this valuable information.”

“New York City is known for its diversity—and a message as vital as emergency preparedness needs to reach all New Yorkers,” Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said. “I thank the NYC Emergency Management Department for making this important information available in 13 languages — ensuring New Yorkers of all backgrounds have the knowledge they need to be prepared for an emergency.”

“It is our moral obligation as a City to make sure that every New Yorker has a plan for when disaster strikes. Through NYC Emergency Management’s partnership with the Tenement Museum, we can equip New Yorkers of all backgrounds with life-saving emergency preparedness resources,” New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin said. “With materials being offered in 13 different languages, I invite all my constituents to take advantage of this presentation and learn directly from City agencies and community-based organizations about how their families can be ready for any emergency.”

 “With emergencies like severe weather events or natural disasters becoming more frequent, it is vital for New Yorkers to always be prepared for the worst,” NYS Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou said. “However, emergency management information and preparedness training is often only in English. Programs like Ready New York address these language access issues because they offer information and training in multiple languages, which equips our community with the knowledge and preparation we need to remain safe during an emergency. Thank you to Commissioner Esposito, the Tenement Museum, and our other non-profit organization partners for their work in keeping our community safe.”

“Keeping New Yorkers safe in natural disasters and other crises requires that we promote preparedness at all levels. First responders and other government agencies, community organizations, and individual New Yorkers must all have action plans to follow in case of an emergency,” said NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh, whose district includes parts of lower Manhattan and western Brooklyn that were heavily impacted by Superstorm Sandy. “In a state as diverse as New York, it’s crucial that we provide preparedness resources in a variety of languages for people of all backgrounds. I thank the New York City Emergency Management for bringing this important event to our community.” 

“Community Board 3 is very proud of our history as a first stopping place for immigrants that continues to this day.  Our diverse community is our strength,” Community Board 3 Chair Alysha Lewis-Coleman said.  “We thank NYC Emergency Management for its work reaching out to all in our community to be prepared for emergencies.”

In 2018, NYC Emergency Management’s Ready New York program hosted more than 900 events throughout New York City and trained more than 100,000 individuals in preparedness. Through the program, New Yorkers learn about the hazards they may face in New York City and prepare for all types of emergencies. Ready New York guides are available in 13 languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, French, Polish, Urdu, and Yiddish.

Notify NYC, New York City’s official emergency communications program also provides multilingual messaging in 13 languages (including English), American Sign Language (ASL), and audio formats. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit , call 311, download the free mobile application, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

About the Ready New York Program

The Ready New York program outlines three important strategies to preparing for emergencies:

  • Get Ready: Make a Plan – Have at least two emergency contacts – one local and one out-of-area – who you can call in an emergency. Practice your plan with everyone in your home.
  • Get Set: Prepare a Stay-at-Home Kit – During emergencies that require you to stay at home, it is important to have extra food and water for everyone in the house 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.

NYC Emergency Management ‘Prep Talk’ Podcast Series

In recognition of Immigrant Heritage Week in New York City, April 15 through April 21, the latest “Prep Talk” episode features New York State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou and Pedro Garcia, manager for staff development for training and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at the Tenement Museum. The special guests discuss the importance of working with the NYC Emergency Management Department, elected officials, and community organizations to prepare immigrants for emergencies. You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spreaker, and subscribe now to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Tashawn Brown/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

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