LES Ready! focuses on advocating for the neighborhood and specifically marginalized BIPOC communities within the neighborhood. Most recently, LES Ready! has leveraged its involvement in city agency working groups to elevate the needs of equitable messaging, testing, and vaccination in the Lower East Side.


LES Ready! has a strong history of resiliency planning. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, LES Ready! engaged the both organizations and community members in developing a new community-centered disaster plan that prioritized the needs of historically excluded communities in the city. Now, LES Ready! continues to participate in NYC agency task forces in an effort to bring necessary attention to our communities which are frequently overlooked in conversations. 


One of the primary functions of the Long Term Recovery Group is Disaster Response. After coordinating relief efforts from the many CBOs in the Lower East Side following Hurricane Sandy, LES Ready! has continued to respond to disasters with resources, personnel, information, and expertise. LES Ready! has responded to disasters such as the Middle Collegiate Church Fire, where we were able to help families who lost their homes find new residences, and COVID-19, where we provided needed PPE and gloves to medical professionals when they were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic. LES Ready! also plays a critical role in assisting member organizations that provide direct services to direct their resources where they are needed. 


Local disaster plans at the block, building, and even family level are critical in building a prepared Lower East Side. LES Ready! hosts regular network-wide tabletop exercises to ensure that our member organizations can be effective when unforeseen disasters strike. LES Ready! also provides trainings on particular disaster preparedness strategies such as for extreme weather incidents, government program availability, making a go-bag, and many more. If you are interested in participating in an LES Ready! training or drill, please reach out to us!

Our History

Oct 2012
Hurricane Sandy
LES Ready! is Born

Government response in the aftermath Sandy was slow and inadequate given the immense need of the LES. To fill the gaps, community organizations had to step in. Although CBOs were effective in meeting the needs of LES residents quickly, they encountered several difficulties in providing relief. Lacking electivity and often phone service, a lack of coordination and communication hampered the community-based relief effort, leading some areas to be overserved by multiple organizations while other areas were missed. Further, CBOs did not have adequate resources or training nor were they included in the city’s emergency management plan and had difficulty communicating city officials. LES Ready! was born as a solution to these obstacles.

Feb 2015
Post-Sandy Report Published
Community-Centered Disaster Plan

LES Ready! member organizations hosted a series of seminars in the community with the involvement of over 15 community organizations and 1500 individuals to build a plan that would focus on marginalized communities in the Lower East Side. 

March 2017
Amend the ESCR
Community Feedback Implemented

On March 24th the City released its 13th Proposed Amendment to the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) - the extension of which we advocated for - based on community feedback and new design challenges. LES Ready! submitted public comment about the importance of climate science and the need to defend against displacement, both natural and man-made. Our members were also quoted in a WNYC News Story. 

Sep 2018
Art and Climate
Relationship to Climate Change

LES Ready! member FABnyc and artist Raul Ayala created a community engagement toolkit including banners and two participatory activities that invite community members to reflect on their relationship to climate change. In this year, LES Ready! members reached over 1,500 Lower East Side residents with community workshops on community preparedness. 

March 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic
Responding to a Pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, LES Ready! Member Organizations have been at the forefront of responding to needs in the community, from distributing over 500 testing kits, advocating for two testing sites, and assisting with food distributions.