FAR ROCKAWAY, QUEENS (February 2, 2024) — The American Red Cross in Greater New York is bringing emergency preparedness training to the Rockaway Peninsula in the latest installment of their Prepare the Town initiative. This Red Cross-led initiative brings together community and government partners to target high-risk communities and help community residents prepare for disasters, including home fires, floods, storms, and other emergencies.
These events are organized in partnership with a variety of community partners, including New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Fire Department of New York (FDNY), the Far Rockaway Averne Nonprofit Coalition (FRANC), Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), and others.
Prepare the Town: Rockaways launched on January 25 with two events. In the morning, the team presented Prepare with Pedro, a youth-focused preparedness training at PS 105 – The Bay School. That evening, in partnership with the Redfern Residents Association, the team presented Be Red Cross Ready at a NYCHA development that was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy. (Photos from PS 105 are available here.)
The event series continued with preparedness training at Ocean Park Apartments on January 27, where Red Cross presenters offered Be Red Cross Ready as well as Hands-Only CPR training to residents.
In the first week, the Red Cross trained 151 students through Prepare with Pedro, 44 people in Hands-Only CPR, and 44 people in Be Red Cross Ready.
About the Programs
Prepare with Pedro is a Red Cross program for children ages 4 to 8. Through fun activity books and videos, the students learn preparedness actions for different types of emergencies. The goal of this program is to help children be less scared during disasters and to initiate conversations with the adults in their home about how to be prepared for an emergency.
Be Red Cross Ready is a Red Cross program that offers simple steps in advance to ensure people can weather a crisis safely and comfortably. People are encouraged to take three simple steps to prepare their household for emergencies: 1) Get a kit. 2) Make a plan. 3) Be informed. For more information, visit redcross.org/prepare.
Hands-Only CPR is a simple life-saving technique that helps bystanders deliver care until professional responders arrive. This training is 30 minutes, and participants learn how to check for consciousness, call 911 (or the local emergency number), and give continuous chest compressions.
Prepare the Town: Rockaways will also include a Home Fire Campaign Sound the Alarm event on Saturday, February 17. This event, held in partnership with FDNY and FDNY Foundation, will consist of volunteer teams installing free smoke alarms in the homes of Rockaways residents. People interested in requesting a free smoke alarm or volunteering to help install these smoke alarms should visit soundthealarm.org/nyc.
Additional preparedness events will continue at a variety of locations through the end of February. Residents interested in attending these events can register online at tinyurl.com/PrepareRockaways or call 347-504-5820.
Celena Sarillo, Interim CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, said: “Emergencies are more common than you may think. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes — and as we have seen firsthand in the Rockaways during Hurricane Sandy, the growing climate crisis poses a unique threat to coastal communities. Programs such as Prepare the Town are vital instruments to make sure our neighbors are ready for disasters before they happen, and we are always grateful to our community and government partners who help us carry out this core aspect of our humanitarian mission.”
"During my career in public service, I served in the Governor's Office for Storm Recovery, and I cannot overstate how important it is to be prepared," said NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. "We are thankful to our partners at the American Red Cross and the participating City agencies for their role in the Prepare the Town resiliency series for the Rockaways. I highly recommend that NYCHA residents living in the Rockaways, as well as any and all interested New Yorkers, attend and learn a bit about simple things that can be done in preparation now that could make a world of difference in an emergency situation later."
“There are a few simple tools that New Yorkers should always have to better prepare for an emergency,” said Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “One of them is a working smoke alarm, which provides a critical warning to escape in the event of a fire and can reduce your risk of dying in a home fire by half. We are proud to partner with the Red Cross and the FDNY Foundation to provide these lifesaving devices free of charge to those who need them. If you don’t have a smoke alarm, visit FDNYSmart.org to find out how to sign up.”
Contact: Frederic Klein, email@example.com, 646-627-9328