2009-04-17 / Community

Rockaway Group Hosts Preparedness Summit

A new group, called Ready Rockaway, is a local stakeholders group, comprised of residents and professionals in the field of Emergency Preparedness who have joined together to ensure that the Rockaways are prepared for emergencies and disasters alike, a spokesperson for the group says.

In conjunction with the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), the group will be host an Emergency Preparedness Summit on April 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 333 Beach 90 St in the Rockaways.

The purpose of this summit is to "develop and prioritize community preparedness plan initiatives with a focus on the health and safety of the community," the group's spokesperson says..

The group hopes that significant progress will be made in the summit, and that it will be the "first of many important steps toward preparing and engaging the community in the event of an emergency or disaster."

The local group says it was founded due to the unique and changing characteristics and vulnerabilities of the Rockaways over the past 20 years.

"The Rockaways is a unique part of New York as a peninsula, bounded by the ocean and Jamaica Bay. It is a strip of land, mostly less than a mile wide, cut off from the rest of NYC. Evacuating the Peninsula is of a major concern. While most areas of NY have lost residents, the Rockaways have grown by 20%in the last ten years. The Rockaways has the largest concentration of Nursing Homes and Long Term Care facilities in New York.

The Rockaways have a deprived Transit infrastructure, with just one subway line servicing the entire Peninsula. Also, in the past, sever storms have created tremendous flooding; in some recent cases, where the ocean meets the bay, across the width of the Peninsula," the spokesperson says.

Agencies invited to the summit include the NYPD, FDNY, NYC OEM, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Dept. of the Aging, Red Cross, and NY Disaster Chaplaincy.

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