Squadron Hosts Town Hall To Ensure Access To Emergency Planning For Wald Residents With Disabilities

Squadron Town Hall Organized With NYCHA, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NYCEM

Squadron: “Important all community members are empowered in emergency preparedness planning.”

NEW YORK  Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA), and NYC Emergency Management hosted an accessible Town Hall to ensure residents of Wald Houses with disabilities are empowered in emergency preparedness planning.

Squadron organized this Town Hall after being contacted by Wald Houses resident Melba Torres. After Hurricane Sandy, NYCHA, the City, and Senator Squadron have been working together to make sure there is better emergency preparedness planning, especially for people with disabilities. The Town Hall was at an accessible facility for persons with mobility disabilities, available via conference call, and accommodated additional accessibility needs as requested.

“Hurricane Sandy highlighted the need to improve emergency preparedness across the city, particularly for people with disabilities,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Empowering people with disabilities in the planning process is an important part of making sure emergency plans work for everyone. Thank you to Melba Torres for highlighting this important issue, as well as NYCHA, MOPD, NYCEM, the Wald Houses Tenant Association, and UJC.”

“Safety is NYCHA’s top priority and that means making sure our emergency preparedness plans work for residents with disabilities,” said NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to hear directly from residents about their questions and concerns at today’s town hall and we look forward to working with the City and Senator Squadron to make our Next Generation NYCHA vision of safe, clean and connected communities a reality.”

“The NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities is committed to supporting people with disabilities in emergencies. We do this by working closely with city agencies such as New York City Emergency Management as well as the disability community. We also encourage all New Yorkers to prepare for emergencies by following steps provided in the Ready New York My Emergency Plan including packing a Go Bag, in case you have to leave in a hurry. A Go Bag can include important health information and contacts, as well as items such as medication, glasses, hearing aids, phone chargers, batteries and the necessities for your pets or service animal. Together we can make New York City the safest most resilient city in the world for people with disabilities,” said NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise.

“Our mission at Emergency Management is to ensure that every New Yorker is equipped with the necessary resources to be prepared before an emergency,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “This town hall gives us the opportunity to connect with the residents at the Wald Houses, and we look forward to working with State Senator Squadron, NYCHA, and MOPD as we continue our efforts to empower people with disabilities with the practical information they can use to promote emergency preparedness.”

“Accessibility for all is an important part of emergency preparedness planning for all,” said Wald Houses Resident Melba Torres. “Since Hurricane Sandy, I've worked with Senator Daniel Squadron and NYCHA to help highlight ways to improve and empower in the planning process. Thank you to Daniel, NYCHA, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, NYC Emergency Management, UJC, and my fellow Wald residents for helping make this town hall a reality.”