our work

LES Ready! has been involved in the Long Term Recovery since Hurricane Sandy


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.

Resiliency Planning

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. 

Disaster Response

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. 

Community-Wide Drills

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. 

Every year, LESReady! members lead workshops, conduct outreach, organize community members, and plan other exciting projects designed to make our neighborhood more resilient. Scroll down to learn more about what we’re doing for the Lower East Side.


Community Engagement

LESReady! 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.

All the way E 4th Street Block Association, Henry Street Settlement, Ryan Health NENA, and Alfred E. Smith Houses Resident’s Association all hosted community workshops on emergency preparedness, reaching over 1,500 Lower East Side residents.

The Village East Towers Emergency Preparedness Task Force held three disaster preparedness workshops for their residents, including a two-way radio training for their Floor Captains. They also installed poster railings in all their buildings to display weather updates and emergency notifications.

Policy & Advocacy

WiFi-NY/Beyond the Grid and Loisaida, Inc. surveyed hundreds of community members and collected important energy use data to make the case for mass appliance replacement, which would lower emissions, reduce electric bills, and potentially create local jobs.

Green Map System worked with students from Parsons School of Design to create #AnimateChange, a conversational marketing campaign using GIFs to call out resilience and preparedness actions. The GIFs have been viewed over 3 million times at giphy.com/greenmap.

Resilient Energy & Infrastructure

Through their HDFC Green and Resilient Program, Cooper Square Committee hosted 2 workshops and one rooftop site visit to educate HDFC shareholders on energy efficiency, multifamily building resiliency, and flood planning.



Coming soon.