FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2015
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NYCHA’s Ongoing Reforms Proven Key to Preparing for Large-Scale Emergencies, Comprehensive Responses
NEW YORK— As the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) continues to fundamentally change the way it does business as part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority released an end of the year report detailing NYCHA’s responses to 2015 emergency events and other preparedness updates. The NYCHA Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP), which was created last year, has taken major steps to overhaul NYCHA’s outdated planning for major emergencies to ensure the Authority is better aligned with the City. With a new emergency management structure and a more comprehensive approach to planning, NYCHA has made great strides in emergency preparedness and operational resiliency, with more improvements planned for next year.
“Superstorm Sandy changed the way the entire City looks at preparedness and response capabilities,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly, who is responsible for the overall administration and management of day-to-day operations across NYCHA’s 328 developments. “When tested with potentially devastating natural disasters to health emergencies like Legionella in 2015, NYCHA rose to the challenge and put our new structure and plans into action. We’ve shown considerable progress and plan to build on successes to enhance our preparedness, training and communications in 2016.”
NYCHA’s Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) is directing NYCHA’s large-scale emergency preparedness and response through the development of the Authority’s first-ever master emergency plan—the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP.) The CEMP integrates multiple plans intended to manage specific hazards NYCHA could face. As new threats to NYCHA’s people and property surface, new plans are developed for inclusion into the CEMP. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of operational personnel and support providers and how those activities complement others.
In addition to reforms and improvements, NYCHA has partnered with City agencies to enhance NYCHA resident preparedness. This year, New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) provided emergency preparedness training sessions targeted at NYCHA senior citizens and residents located within hurricane evacuation zones through the Ready New York program and worked to recruit NYCHA residents to become NYC’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers—a NYCEM, NYPD, and FDNY program that trains New Yorkers to help prepare their neighbors and communities for different types of disasters.
In 2015, key NYCHA emergency preparedness activities and reforms, include: