On Thursday, February 12, City Council green lighted two new pieces of legislation aimed at better equipping coastal neighborhoods like Coney Island and Seagate for major storms similar to Superstorm Sandy.
One bill would better track the roles of local organizations in times of crisis while the other would localize the Office of Emergency Management’s resource materials.
“As we continue the recovery from Sandy, it is imperative that we do not forget about the many charitable organizations and houses of worship that opened their doors to residents in the hours, days and weeks after the storm hit and played a vital role in the recovery,” said Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger, the local pol behind both bills. “It is also critical that we learn from this experience and find ways to better connect residents with information and resources that are specific to their community.”
The first bill calls for the creation of a task force to review thoroughly the role that houses of worship and charitable organizations played in the aftermath of Sandy. The task force will also brainstorm ways for government to reimburse these groups for money spent while helping residents recover.
The task force’s findings, Treyger said, are to be submitted to the council within eight months of its formation.
The second bill requires all pamphlets and resource material distributed by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) – currently citywide in nature – to be tailored to what Treyger called “vulnerable communities” and include specific details on local organizations, and evacuation zones.
These new materials, Treyger stressed, would be community-specific and translated into the 10 most commonly spoken languages in each targeted neighborhood.
“These two pieces of legislation will create a safer, more resilient New York City and help better prepare us for the next major storm,” said Treyger, who is also the chairperson of the council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency.
Both bills are expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio.