Upper West Side CERT


UWS CERT to Launch 10th Anniversary Year at the American Museum of Natural History

10th-anniversaryUPDATE! Owing to circumstances outside our control, the date for this event had to be changed. It will now take place on March 1, 2017. The location and other details remain the same. Invitations will be emailed via Eventbrite in January.

On November 9, 2016, Upper West Side CERT will begin its 10th year with a celebratory event, hosted by the American Museum of Natural History. The gathering will kick off a year of neighborhood activities designed to raise awareness about emergency preparedness and increase community involvement.

Invited special guests to the Upper West Side CERT 10th Anniversary Celebration include NYC Emergency Management Department Commissioner Joseph Esposito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Community Board 7 District Manager Penny Ryan, and officials from the FDNY and the 20th and 24th precincts of the NYPD. Sponsoring businesses will also be honored.


CERT graduate Laurel Douglas shows off her new gear, January 2007.

It was in November 2006 that a group of concerned Upper West Siders gathered at the Young Israel Temple on West 91 Street to begin an 11-week training that would certify them for their role as preparedness educators and second responders. Their class was graduated in January 2007 and has been pursuing its mission ever since.

For those new to our work, CERT citizen volunteer teams support the city’s first responders – FDNY, NYPD, and EMT – in their work to keep our city safe. We are deployed to provide a variety of services when disaster strikes, including crowd management, traffic control, and emergency relief. Our equally important mission is to educate our neighbors about how to keep themselves and their communities safe.

You can learn more about us elsewhere on this website and at:

Event invitations will go out shortly, but for now, please save the date!

Questions should be addressed to info (at) uwscert.org.


Sponsorship opportunities for the event can be downloaded here.


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A Van? Yes We Can! With Your Help.

PB LogoUpper West Side CERT has won a coveted place on the 2016 PBNYC6 (Participatory Budgeting for New York City, District 6) ballot to win funding for the purchase of a team van.

The UWS CERT Emergency Response and Education Vehicle is one of fourteen projects to be considered for funding by the District 6 public during PBNYC voting week, March 26 through April 3, 2016. But let’s back up a bit.

What is Participatory Budgeting?
PB is a democratic process that lets community members decide how to spend part of an annual budget allocated for their district. The total budget for participating Council Districts across the city in FY2016 is $30 million.

District 6 will receive $6 million in discretionary funding, of which $1 million will be spent by the community on projects they deem worthwhile.

PB is grassroots democracy in action. It enables community members to have a say in how their tax dollars are spent. It offers them – either through participation on the PB Committee or voting for the funding recipients – the opportunity to be directly involved in the District’s budgeting process. It results in better funding decisions, because who knows better the needs of a community than the people who live there?

Transit 350 Ford Van-030316-Sideview.350wWe Want to Bring Emergency Preparedness to You.
Upper West Side CERT, looking to take its emergency preparedness education and outreach to the next level, applied for a small slice of this $1 million pie to purchase a van for the team. Happily, the PB screening committees and the New York City Council agreed that the project had merit and chose it as one of fourteen finalists.

Should our project place in the top five, it will be funded.

The van would have a threefold purpose: It would store the team’s emergency materials and supplies; it would bring pop-up preparedness events to street fairs, schools, and community gatherings; and it could be made available, if deployed by NYCEMD, at the site of a disaster.

You can help us win!
If you live in or attend high school in District 6, you can vote. Here is a link to voting instructions and locations. Here are the fourteen projects competing for funding. You may vote for up to five.

Download our flyer, print, and share!

Follow the drama!
We will be tweeting and Facebooking our progress from now until voting closes. Stay tuned!


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UWS CERT Receives 2015 Citywide Deployment Award

2015 Deployment AwardIn a recognition ceremony last night, Upper West Side CERT (M7) was presented with the 2015 Citywide Deployment Award by Commissioner Joseph J. Esposito and the NYC Emergency Management Department. The award recognizes the team’s outstanding performance in responding to recent crises, including the East Village and East Harlem gas explosion disasters, and the Ebola outbreak. M7 team chief, Sheldon Fine, accepted the award on behalf of his team and commended them in his remarks.

Borough finalists for the award — Bronx 10 CERT, Brooklyn 12 CERT, Queens 6 CERT, and Port Richmond Staten Island CERT — were also recognized.

In addition to the awards presentations, 75 new CERT graduates of the Cycle 24 training received their certificates. They and 17 graduates of the new Teen CERT program, who attend the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, were welcomed into the CERT family.

Along with Commissioner Esposito, speakers included Christina Farrell, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Emergency Management, James E. Leonard, Chief of Department, FDNY, and Phylis S. Byrne, Deputy Inspector, NYPD Auxiliary Police Section. Rabbi Isaac Werzberger, Chaplain, NYC Emergency Management, gave the invocation.

Photos from the event can be viewed on the UWS CERT Facebook page.

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East Village Building Collapse Relief & Recovery Information


UWSCERT team chief Sheldon Fine (r) talks with Commissioner Joseph Esposito and team at the Lower East Side Relief and Recovery Center at Tompkins Square Library.

Reprinted courtesy of: New York Citizen Corps Communications Network

Following last Thursday afternoon’s explosion and building collapse in the East Village on East 7th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, a reception center is open at Tompkins Square Branch Library (331 East 10th Street) from 9 AM to 8 PM. Click here (in Spanish) for a list of services being provided based on residents’ needs.

Starting Friday, April 3rd, the NYC Resident Service Center will move to Community Board 3 (59 East 4th Street). For more information and hours of operation, please call 311, visit nyc.gov or click here for flyer.

Businesses affected by the East Village collapse can email businesshelp@sbs.nyc.gov or call 212-618-8810 for assistance.

The American Red Cross of Greater New York is working with New York City to assist those affected by the East Village Building Collapse, including disaster relief management, referrals for shelters, and crisis counseling. To contact the Red Cross, call 1-877-733-2767.

LES Ready! – Lower East Side Long Term Recovery Group – is currently providing services and support to the residents affected by the East Village explosion. For more information, visit the organization’s website or contact Lilah Mejia at (212) 358-1231 / lilah@goles.org.

Donations – To make a donation, visit the NYC Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City online. At this time, please do NOT drop off any in-kind donations to the affected area(s).

Lifenet (1-800-LIFENET or 1-800-543-3638) is a free, confidential help line for New York City residents who may be experiencing emotional distress. You can call 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find mental health services.

For the latest information about the East Village building collapse, please visit the NYC Emergency Management homepage and NotifyNYC Twitter feed.

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