For My People Empowerment, Inc


For My People Empowerment, Inc. is a not-for-profit community based volunteer organization committed to assisting New York residents on how to be prepared for any type of emergency.  September 11th was a wake-up call for a number of New Yorkers, and when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it was then that we decided to focus on educating our community on the importance of being prepared and making sure that everyone at the building and block levels were prepared for any emergency.

According to a 2013 national survey conducted by the Ad Council, sixty percent of Americans self-reported that they currently do not have a family emergency plan in case of a natural disaster, or other emergencies.

It is our hope that we will be able to lend a hand in making members of our community safer and better prepared to assist themselves and to provide themselves with the skills that it takes to withstand and survive emergency situations, and to hopefully assist other with their community.

Emergency Preparedness Leader Recruitment program design principles:

Risk Assessment:  We witnessed with Hurricane Katrina and Sandy that individuals who were not prepared for emergencies and natural disasters risk injury, dislocation and loss of life.  Communities that are not prepared risk social disorder.  Our program is designed around these major threats.

Behavior Change:  Awareness about disaster preparedness is significantly different from actually taking preparedness action, which is much harder to accomplish and requires behavioral change.  The program is designed to achieve individual and building/block level behavior change.

Peer Support:   Taking preparedness actions is far more likely to occur within a group setting where neighbors support and encourage each other.  This group becomes a critical resource to support one another during a crisis.

These actions will restore the kind of personal and community resiliency to our lives that we never intended to give up.  What could be more important in today's world than to live in a building or on a block where the residents are working together to create a strong and resilient social fabric.  Living in a disaster resilient building or block represents the new quality of life indicator for New Yorkers.  This is not only the ultimate defense against disaster, but a great way to build relationship rich buildings and blocks that can improve our quality of life right now.

This is a vital and much needed program that we offer to the Bronx community and we believe that you care just as much about this community, and about the security of all Americans.

  • Helping others change behavior:  In broad terms our work is helping people in the community to prepare for an emergency.  What this really means is helping them to adopt a set of new behaviors and practices.
  • Social Science Research:  Social science research tells us that information leads to awareness, however, it's rarely sufficient to change behavior.  Look at all that we know about diet and exercise and how many of us actually do not make wise dietary and exercise choices.
  • For My People Vision:   Neighbors helping neighbors create a resilient New York City household by household, building by building, and block by block. Our goal is to create a culture of resiliency in New York City and lead the way for America.
  • Personal Satisfaction:  Helping protect the safety and security of our family and neighbors and improving their quality of life through greater social connection and cooperation.
  • Professional Development:  For My People Empowerment's proven team leadership, coaching, group facilitation, community organizing and project management is valued at hundreds of dollars.
  • Recognition:   An enhanced position of leadership in their building or on their block will be deeply appreciated by neighbors and the city.

 Executive Summary

For My People Empowerment, Inc. is a volunteer based emergency preparedness program that provides a leadership training program for the New York community to understand how easy and important it is to be ready for any type of emergency that one might encounter. Thanks to our volunteers, communities will be able to plan and be prepared with the knowledge needed to know what to do, how to prepare for the possibility of blackouts, terrorist incidents and natural disasters. We have established information meetings in order to prepare individuals and empower their community to be ready.

The premise of the program is simple. Taking prudent precaution against blackouts, natural disasters, terrorism and emergencies is nothing more than a form of insurance. The program reflects the belief that by far the best insurance is the group insurance that you get from teamwork, and because our neighbors security is tied to our own security.

This choice seems clear. It's better to have a plan for an emergency that doesn’t happen than to have an emergency and no plan.

The steps that make the most sense in preparing for an emergency are good ideas, anyway. These actions will restore the kind of personal and community resiliency to our lives that we never intended to give up.

What could be more important in today’s world that to live in a building or on a block where the residents are working together to create a strong and resilient social fabric. Living in a disaster resilient building or block represents the new quality of life indicators for New Yorkers. This is not only the ultimate defense against disaster, but also a great way to build relationships, rich buildings and blocks that can improve our quality of life right now.

Emergency Preparedness Leader Recruitment Strategy

FMPE will have information meetings outlining the purpose of the organization. This is our strategy of getting volunteers to promote the emergency preparedness program. Of the people attending the information sessions, 43% representing 153 buildings and block, participated in the one-day leadership training. Approximately 25% of these volunteer leaders will stay with the program and report results. We will grow our relationship with these building and block leaders to design a more robust support system that increases follow-through with future leaders. With the programs leadership training and coaching, building/block leaders successfully recruited residents to participate in the emergency preparedness agenda. Most will create a core resiliency team for their building or block.

It is our hope that the participants/volunteers will continue to promote the emergency preparedness making their homes and neighborhoods a safer place in which to live and raise their families. These newly recruited preparedness leaders/volunteers will be trained to implement the following strategies.

  1. Form a core resiliency team amongst individuals who have participated in the program.
  2. We will host regular intervals of information sessions for neighbors inviting them to participate in either the team or single household programs.
  3. We will distribute Household Preparedness Guides to all households who do not participate in the preparedness programs to establish basic preparedness information.
  4. We will utilize the core resiliency team members to support vulnerable households such as the elderly and handicapped who wish to prepare.
  5. We will establish a phone and e-mail communication system to develop the connectedness of building/block residents around the issue of preparedness providing regular communications to all residents on program achievements.
  6. We will work with building management or block association to develop a resiliency strategy. This can include purchasing a generator,  food, water and flashlights and implementing evacuation drills.
  7. We will distribute emergency supplies to those individuals unable to afford them on their own.

    Our leadership training and coaching of building/block leaders will enable them to successfully recruited residents to participated in the Emergency Preparedness Program. Of the residents attending the building or block information sessions, 68% chose to participate in the program. Most will create a core resiliency team for their building or block. We will continue to refine this recruitment process.

    Work Plan - One phase of the emergency preparedness program is to plan how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs and working to marshal the resources to respond effectively. FMPE will built a core team that prepares the community and other interested resident, supports, the vulnerable and unprepared residents, and will implement a community wide resiliency strategy. We will focus on creating a resiliency team, communications, and establish a support system for neighbors. Because resiliency plans address the building or block they require a partnership with and the approval of existing organizations and management. The ultimate goal of our resiliency plan is to become a fully integrated and sustainable component for building and block infrastructure. We have prepared a list of all leaders, managers, and maintenance staff and their responsibilities, if any, regarding safety or preparedness. This plan is designed to help create this collaboration and has built a long-term partnership around disaster resiliency. We will identify preparedness and safety plans already in place and their implementation status. This might include: smoke alarm installation in each apartment or house, installation of child window guards, evacuation plan and support for vulnerable residents. 

    We think everyone will agree that the outcome of this program will produce real results. It’s nothing like having the knowledge of being prepared for anything, from anywhere, at any time. 

     Real Results of Program 

    1. Households were motivated through this easy to use program.
    2. They purchased extra food water and flashlight supplies to last at least 3 to 7 days. 
    3. They created evacuation kits, called “go-bags,” which they could use if they had to evacuate their homes on short notice. 
    4. They developed a plan for how to relocate their families and love ones if they were separated.
    5. They learned how to shelter in place in cases of a biological or chemical attach or avian flu.
    6. They formed teams with their neighbors to support one another in taking these actions and to serve as a support system in an emergency.
    7. They identified and helped the elderly and disabled in their area to prepare and create evacuation plans. 


    For emergency preparedness to diffuse citywide requires a strategy for scaling that is time efficient and cost effective. Our program is designed to scale up through a cost-effective train-the-trainer program for community groups and city agencies with access to large networks. These groups are taught how to implement a social diffusion strategy targeted at the early adopter population within their territory. This is supplemented by local media campaigns. To create a neighborhood tipping point throughout the city that, mutually reinforce each other enabling the program to being spreading on its own momentum.

    The time we live in requires us to radically rethink our urban expectation of dependency and separation. What the future will bring is uncertain, but what is certain is that being prepared and connected will enable us to face the future with greater confidence and security. 

    For My People Empowerment is very committed to making sure that all residents are prepared for emergencies.  The world is changing and in the midst of rushing through everyday life, it’s important to take a minute or two to prepare for emergencies.  Being prepared helps you and your family minimizes the impact of a disaster such as a hurricane or even a broken leg.

    For My People Empowerment has a working relationship with the Office of Emergency Management and FEMA, but we are not funded by any government or state agencies.  All funds raised come from either the pocket of individual donors or the President of the organization.

    It's our hope that your office can assist For My People Empowerment and our community.  If you have any question or require any additional information please feel free to contact me.


    Brenda M. Francis

    President & CEO