Awards & Accomplishments

We are sincerely grateful to The New York Community Trust for its generous support and partnership.

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

2013

  • 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.

2014

  • 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.

2015

  • 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.

2016

  • 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.

2017

  • 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.

2018

  • 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.

7 YEARS OF LESREADY! BY THE NUMBERS

  • 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.