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Changing Weather in the Northeast Calls for Greater Local Preparation

Release date: 
April 29, 2014
Release Number: 

FEMA and Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management Improve Community Disaster Resiliency through America’s PrepareAthon!

New York, NY – New York and New Jersey have seen their share of weather disasters in recent years. Based on recent experience and on current assessments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the region is likely to endure continuing shifts in weather patterns, prompting a need for emergency management expertise, as well as community preparedness for severe weather.

According to a 2012 national survey on preparedness by FEMA, a mere 39 percent of Americans reported having a household emergency plan, and almost 50 percent did not have supplies set aside in their homes for use in a disaster.

Playing a pivotal role in disaster preparedness is the new Manhattan-based Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, the first high school in the United States devoted exclusively to emergency management.  This Wednesday, April 30, 120 of its students will interview some 1500 residents across New York City’s five boroughs about their families’ preparedness. Survey results will be used to determine how prepared the general public is post-Super Storm Sandy, and if preparedness levels differ in flood prone areas. The survey’s results will be made public on the school’s website.

The students will be joined by Jerome Hatfield, Regional Administrator of FEMA at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan at 10:30 am this Wednesday. This event is being held in coordination with the NYC Office of Emergency Management.  Mr. Hatfield will be available for interviews on the role of the new emergency management school and the need for preparedness, as well as the evolving weather climate in FEMA’s Region II, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The joint effort by FEMA and the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management to interview and inform the public about emergency preparedness constitute one of many events occurring across the country as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a national community day of action encouraging millions of individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to improve their levels of disaster preparedness.   

About America’s PrepareAthon!

America’s PrepareAthon! provides a national focus for millions of individuals, organizations, and communities to take action to improve their level of preparedness.  Twice a year—in the spring and fall—individuals, communities, and organizations across the country will organize days of action to discuss, practice, and train for relevant hazards. 

Follow the discussion on Twitter by following @PrepareAthon or #PrepareAthon. For more information, go to

About Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management

The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management (UASEM) is a public Career and Technical Education high school that prepares students to engage in complex quantitative and qualitative reasoning skills with an understanding of the principles of Emergency Management. Visit to learn more.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.


Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:06