Lower East Side Community Hero Award

The Steering Committee of Lower East Side History Month

Certificate of Appreciation

New York City Emergency Management Department

Timeline of Accomplishments


  • Third and final year of renewed funding from the New York Community Trust is secured.
  • LESReady! member organizations conduct community mapping exercise to update resource map.
  • Disaster preparedness trainings to coalition and community members continue.
  • Community-wide disaster simulation exercise is planned.


  • Member organizations and Resiliency staff begin making final revisions to Community Disaster Plan.
  • LESReady’s Memorandum of Understanding is edited to better capture member organizations’ resource capacity; outreach to new prospective members, including houses of worship, begins.
  • Emergency radio antenna is installed on the roof of Village East Towers co-op, allowing members to communicate over a 50-mile radius when phone lines and internet are down.
  • LMCR outreach and community engagement continues.
  • 6 member organizations receive pass-through grants to undertake community resiliency and disaster preparedness projects.
  • LESReady! coordinates donations to Puerto Rico in the wake of the 2017 hurricane season, collecting resources at our 5-year Sandy anniversary event.
  • The coalition begins meeting with NYC agencies to explore concrete strategies for post-disaster collaboration.


  • Five member organizations begin providing storm recovery and resiliency services to the community under the NY Rising program.
  • FCC license for emergency radio communications is approved, and member organizations receive emergency radio training.
  • Outreach and community engagement for ESCR continues; LESReady! begins coordinating outreach efforts for the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project (LMCR).
  • Member organizations receive pass-through grants to fund small-scale, high-impact resiliency projects. A second year of renewed funding from the New York Community Trust is secured.
  • Member organization WiFi-NY navigates Beyond the Grid, a resilient community microgrid project, through phase II of the NYSERDA NY Prize competition.
  • 400 community members attend Sandyween at Pier 42, a Halloween-themed Superstorm Sandy anniversary event.


  • The coalition purchases LESReady! vests and emergency radios. Request for an FCC radio license is submitted.
  • Community Board 3 Waterfront Task Force is established, to which LESReady! members are appointed.
  • Second phase of outreach and engagement for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project begins.
  • The 2nd Avenue Explosion destroys a residential building, and the subsequent fire burns down three others, leaving 2 dead and 19 wounded. LESReady! responds, providing case management and grants to 120 affected residents.
  • Newspaper printouts of resource map and coalition findings are printed in three languages and distributed to 11,000 community members.
  • Funding is secured from the New York Community Trust and Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery to support a full-time LESReady! Coordinator and resiliency staff.


  • LESReady! launches its website and releases printed brochures and other materials, including the report Getting LES Ready: Learning from Hurricane Sandy to Create a Community-Based Disaster Plan for the Future.
  • Community mapping project is begun; disaster centers, hubs, and information centers are identified.
  • LESReady’s Interim Community Disaster Plan is released and shared with network members.
  • Preparedness trainings continue to be held, including Citizen Preparedness events in collaboration with the Governor’s office. Hundreds of residents receive emergency preparedness education and Go Bags.
  • LESReady! coordinates community engagement meetings for Rebuild by Design, winning $335 million for flood protection on the LES.
  • The coalition works with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s NY Rising program, shaping $25 million worth of funding priorities.


  • LESReady! is formed in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, as service providers and community-based organizations recognize the need for greater collaboration pre-, during, and post-disaster. Forty voting and non-voting members are recruited. Mission, bylaws, and coalition priorities are established.
  • Disaster preparedness trainings are conducted throughout the Lower East Side.
  • LESReady! and The LoDown publish a series of disaster preparedness articles to in the lead-up to Sandy’s one-year anniversary.
  • Over 700 people attend LESReady’s Sandy 1-Year Anniversary Event at the East River.


  • 20,000 residents reached through community events, canvassing, social media, workshops, etc.
  • 3,000 Go Bags collectively distributed.
  • 5,000 community members collectively trained in disaster preparedness techniques.
  • 1 Superstorm Sandy anniversary event held every year.
  • More than $700 million secured for coastal flood protection.
  • More than $500 million secured for Sandy repairs to NYCHA properties.