(Originally aired: 02-01-99)

 

  

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          Guest For THURSDAY AUGUST 27, 2009

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                                                GUEST: 

                             WILL SANCHEZ

        

                    

                  

               
            

 Mathematician / Intellectual / Cyber Entrepreneur

      

     Member: Community Board # 8 - Manhattan

Member: Community Emergency Response Team 

                                           (CERT)

                                 Will Sanchez with Joy Johnson

                              A "RUN NYC" Athlete

                     

          Producer: Public Access Cable Television      

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The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwFB_3RL3Hc - WILL SANCHEZ

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More about: WILL SANCHEZ

"live in a steady joy" from Donald Hall's poem "the happy man"

http://www.steadyjoy.com/stage/happyman.html

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William Sanchez

                                                                                                                           

250 East 65th Street Ap 7D                                                                                        646.321.6332

New York, New York 10065                                                                       will.sanchez@gmail.com

 

Over 30 years experience in account management, solutions development, information technology consulting, and productive software programming. A highly respected account manager who worked  with his clients to keep their systems usable and maintainable, and who built exceptional customer loyalty through superior customer relations management. A team-builder adept at leading staff through difficult projects and who thrived on opportunities to inspire people to their best performance.

  • Account Management
  • Business Development
  • Help Desk
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Recruiting
  • Team Building
  • Programming and Analysis
  • Business Intelligence
 
RELATED EXPERIENCE

Community Board 8 of Manhattan, New York – CB#8M                    2005 - present

Chair of the Communications Committee of CB#8M                        2008 - present

  • TV Producer of “Community Board 8 Speaks” program on Manhattan Neighborhood Network [MNN]

Secretary of CB#8M                                                                              2006 - 2008

·        Responsible for time-keeping, attendance monitoring, posting, and roll-call for the board.

Chair of the Public Safety Committee of CB#8M                                   2006 - 2008

·        Responsible for revitalizing this important committee.

 Hosted informational forums, some televised on MNN, including:

  • “Hurricane Preparedness on Roosevelt Island” with the Office Of Emergency Management - OEM 
  • “Domestic Violence” symposium with the Deputy Mayor of New York
  • “Emergency Preparedness – Building to Capacity”  with All Together Now & Ready NY/CERT
  • “Rodents on the Run” with Department of Health and the NYC’s “Rat Czar” management team
  • “Crane & Construction Safety” in Upper East Side with local elected officials and MTA representatives

 

Profsnet.com, Boston, Massachusetts                                                   2001- 2005                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Information Technology Recruiter

  • Responsible for recruiting information technology professionals to help clients fill specific needs.
  • Identify requirements, researches leads, conducts interviews, and maintains relationships with clients and                                                               candidates.

Pinnacle Decision Systems, Inc., Middletown, Connecticut                  1996 - 2000

Regional Director

  • In 1996, merged Sundance Software with Pinnacle Decision Systems and became Pinnacle’s first Regional Partner. Responsible for generating new business and managing accounts in the metropolitan New York area. New accounts included Columbia House, the State of New Jersey, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Tokio Marine, DealTime.com, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and the Greenbelt Conservancy of Staten Island. Nurtured existing relationships with Sundance Software clients and generated new business with them.

Successes

  • Landed the single largest contract ($2.9 million) in the company's history, with the State of New Jersey. Made the initial presentation to start the relationship-building process, uncovered the client's critical success factors, and wrote the winning proposal.
  • Region of the Year Award, 1999, for meeting all revenue, profitability, and other financial ratio targets. The first region to have three clients generate at least $1 million in annual revenues for the company.
  • Finalist Smithsonian Institute Museum for permanent display of the Case Management System on behalf of the Legal Aid Society of New York. This computerized system assisted the Society in its role as law guardian to most of the children who come before Family Court in the five boroughs of New York City.

Sundance Software, New York, New York                                                                  1982 - 1995

Founder, President

  • Operated software consulting firm that specialized in building custom systems using high-level software for Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and New York institutions. Responsible for business development, customer relations management, project management, and daily operations. Primary clients included Nielsen Media Research, International Paper, PepsiCo, Mobil Oil, Schering-Plough, the Legal Aid Society of New York, Joseph E. Seagram, and the Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, PA). Several of these were clients for over 10 years and migrated to Pinnacle Decision Systems under my leadership.

Successes

  • Finalist in the Positivamente New York awards, sponsored by telecommunications firm MCI, for putting customers first. Awarded for exceptional support of Nielsen’s help desk in troubleshooting hundreds of clients throughout the U.S. who were running state-of-the-art desktop reporting systems.
  • In 1991, spearheaded an early warning symposium on the Year 2000 [Y2K] problem.

McCall Pattern Company, New York, New York 

                                                          1977- 1982

Market Analyst/System Support/Consultant

  • Provided system support for the Market Research team at the McCall Pattern Company. Developed support systems from a few programs in BASIC to a broad-ranging series of powerful, sophisticated systems using state-of-the-art technology. These included statistical forecasting and projection, pricing analysis, product merchandising and deal distribution systems.
EDUCATION
 

BS in Mathematics (cum laude) from the City College of New York

MS in Applied Mathematics from the Courant Institute of New York University

TECHNOLOGY

Windows • MS Office • Information Builders FOCUS • Goldmine • Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) • IBM mainframes – CMS and TS                        

CHARITABLE and VOLUNTEER WORK

  • Fundraiser, Mentor & Participating Athlete for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team-in-Training
  • MS Walk whose teams have raised over $10,000 in individual donations for MS Society
  • Founding member of ESNA-CERT, helping with my Community Emergency Response Team
  • Public Affairs Officer for the US Coast Auxiliary Flotilla 5-11, planked in 2006
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 VOLUME 10. NO. 2                                                                     SPRING 2006 

                                                                                                                                               

CB8’s SANCHEZ PLAYS MAJOR ROLE IN MOVE TO HELP PREPARE CITY RESIDENTS

“All Together Now” is an inno- vative new program aimed at preparing city dwellers for such unwanted occurrences as power blackouts, hurricanes and terrorist attacks.

“All Together Now” comes at emergency preparedness from a new angle: changing behavior patterns so that people will actually adopt some of the practices being recommended.   

David Gershon, the man behind the ATN Program, has been

a leader in developing ways of getting groups to adopt new behavior. One of the keys is understanding how new ideas spread through a population. Initially the target has to be the estimated 15 percent of the population who can be charac-terized as “early adopters:” 

people who are eager to try out new things.

One of these “early adopters” or “team leaders,” as they were known, was CB8’s own Will Sanchez.  Here is a rundown on his ATN activities from a recent article in HABITAT magazine.

Marathon Man

Will Sanchez is a team leader for an Upper East Side cooperative. He’s also a webmaster for the Galloway Running Group of New York and a graduate of New York

University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. In ad-dition, he is active in his Com- munity Board and is a founding member of a local CERT team. In between his work and his huge involvement with his community, he runs marathons. In other

words, Sanchez, like every other team leader, is a powerhouse of energy and involvement. With Cindy DeMaria, a nutritionist whose husband, Al, is president of the co-op’s board, a strategy was worked out for engaging people from the 88 apartments in their co-op. Knocking on doors was ruled out as being much too

aggressive. Instead, they split up the building between them and slipped a flyer under every apartment door, personalizing the notes by adding an additional message from the two of them. The result? Three residents opted to follow the single household

program and six households agreed to form a team. At the first team meeting, the group committed itself to following through on the program and to arriving on time for meetings and staying until the end. Sanchez

committed himself to keeping the meetings shorter than the recommended two hours. The sessions were very productive: some supplies were purchased in bulk for the whole group.

Then, halfway through the program, there was a fire in one of the retail units in the co-op, and everyone had to leave suddenly. The nine ATN households were prepared: they had go-bags ready to grab as they went out of the door. But what did Sanchez’s wife take with her ? Her laptop and her purse. The go-bag was just too heavy. Fire damage was restricted to the retail store but, for Sanchez, the

incident emphasized the  im-

portance of the ATN recom-mendation to practice as many of the preparedness actions as possible: pick up your go-bag; find out if you can carry it; try living for a short while without any electricity and see whether your supplies are adequate. His wife now has a much more compact go-bag purchased from an internet site recommended by CERT colleagues.

Sanchez, like the others, emphasizes the huge benefits of making contact with your neighbors. When the citywide blackout occurred in 2004, he was devastated to find

that some of his neighbors refused his offers of help because they didn’t know who he was. Yet he had been living in the building for 15 years.

DeMaria, Sanchez’s deputy leader, has three go-bags in her apartment, one for her husband, one for herself, and one for Lola, her cat. Lola’s go-bag includes enough food for two weeks, water, a bag of litter, and a large aluminum bake pan to use as a  litter box. The workbook includes step-by-step instructions for pet supplies. Ms. DeMaria, like many other cat-owners, added the makeshift litter box.

Excerpted from HABITAT Magazine

May 2006

Full Article Available from CB8’s office

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m and b logo

Subscriber of the Month

Joy Johnson

Will Sanchez with Joy Johnson

by Will Sanchez, Run NYC athlete and member of Community Board 8 & ESNA-CERT

“It’s not your finishing time that’s important but the kind of time you have finishing.” — Art Castellano, Director New Jersey Marathon

While 26.2 miles is the length of any marathon in the world, New York’s is special because of its sold-out field of 38,000 international participants and the thunderous cheers for the runners throughout the 5-borough course. This was my second New York City Marathon and my fourteenth overall. While it was my slowest marathon, it nevertheless tied for my most satisfying. The above quote captured my mindset — the kind of time I had.

The day before the marathon, I had lunch with 81-year-old Joy Johnson, who was about to run her 21st consecutive NYC Marathon. Joy was determined to better her 2007 winning time for her age group. She had stepped up her training regimen, including 50 miles of running each week plus speed work, hill-repeats, and running on stadium steps. She asked me to “pace her,” to stay close to her sub-6 hour goal. I accepted the challenge.

On marathon Sunday, Joy was like a pacing tigress who needed to be held back. Our strategy: after every two minutes of running, we took a walk break to conserve our legs and to slow us down from the adrenaline rush. We had many bridges to cross before we would stride across the finish line at Central Park near Tavern on the Green. The start was the two-mile long Verrazano Bridge. We dashed through Brooklyn for the next 11 miles, then a quick hop over the Pulaski Bridge for a short visit in Queens. At mile 15 we ramped up the nearly 100 year-old 59th Street Bridge. We sauntered across this mile-long stretch, our hearts now pounding in anticipation of stepping onto 1st Avenue, with the largest and loudest bunch of fans in wait for the final 10 miles of the marathon. We had huge smiles on our faces and goose-bumps on our skin that had nothing to do with the cold, windy day.

Family and friends were lined up the avenue; we made time for quick hugs and nourishment: energy gels (concentrated paste) that we call “vanilla frosting,” washed down by water. The cheers in many languages coalesced with the sight of all the colorful running outfits from France, Mexico, Japan, Spain, and many other countries. As we made our way up the avenue, we knew the fastest runners had long gone by. It was now a people’s run and the folks on the sidelines did not disappoint, shouting “Go CERT Will,” spying my embossed shirt and “Go Joy” from her admirers. We worked our way into the Bronx via the Willis Avenue Bridge, a tough spot as mile 20 is called the “runner’s wall” that separates those who ran smart from those who were now hurting. As we ran smart, we galloped over the Madison Avenue Bridge back into Manhattan.

We soon looped into Central Park, a relief as knowing we had only two miles to go gave us a boost of energy. We left the park at East 59th Street, jogging towards Columbus Circle, seeing ourselves on the JumboTron. We checked ourselves to be sure we were smear-free — we wanted to look good for our finisher’s photo. We did it — and Joy was again first in her age group, shaving 50+ minutes from her 2007 win! With our finishers’ medals draped over us, I escorted Joy to her West side hotel and floated home to the East 60s.

Joy would have dipped below her six hours goal time but for leg cramps after mile 18 that almost caused her to fall. For only a split second, she allowed herself to think that she was out of the race, but she knew how to handle a cramp, pressing her fingers into it. She licked a salt packet to recoup sodium into her blood stream. She took quick, short walking strides and listened to her body to tell her when she could run again. Joy jogged the final 3 miles. The kind of time we had finishing? Priceless!

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CAROL WILSON ARRIVED back at her

Greenwich Village apartment after

a few weeks out of town. She was

too tired to start unpacking. “I sat down,

had a cup of tea, went though several piles

of mail, and then decided it was late and I

was going to bed. So, I walked into my

bedroom, turned on the light, and saw

something awful dripping from my ceiling.”

By 4 A.M., everyone in her building

had received a knock on the door and had

been told to pack a bag and get out fast.

Coincidentally, they had been preparing

for just such an event. Wilson was the

building’s team leader for an experimental

project that has been operating in

New York City for the past two years

under the title “All Together Now”

(ATN). The aim is to see whether it is

possible to get households all over the

city to prepare for disasters that might

hit, from blackouts and hurricanes to terrorist

bombs and toxic emanations from

the ceiling.

Since the events of September 11, 2001,

the power blackout of 2004, and Hurricane

Katrina, it is no longer necessary to explain

the concept of emergency preparedness. In

fact, there are so many different programs

out there now – city, state, federal, university,

and others – that it is starting to look

like a flourishing growth area. There’s a

major problem with most of these programs,

however. They provide a wealth of

important information and advice, but they

don’t provide a way to motivate people to

adopt any of the suggested practices.

That’s where “All Together Now”

comes in.

A Special Program

“All Together Now” comes at the situation

from a different angle. It isn’t the

information you are providing that is the

crucial element of the process; the nut that

you have to crack if you are going to

achieve a high level of emergency readiness

in a population is how to change

behavior patterns so that people will actually

adopt some of the practices being recommended.

A 2005 telephone poll conducted by the

Red Cross revealed that, in spite of living

through 9/11 and the power blackout, more

than 50 percent of New Yorkers hadn’t even

gone so far as to prepare a basic emergency

kit for themselves. As Keith Robertory, head

of a team of disaster education planners at

the Red Cross, says: “We know that

brochures are not a highly effective way of

reaching people. We try to steer away from

the concept that, ‘You have a problem, we

have a brochure.’”

David Gershon, the man behind the

ATN program, has been a leader in developing

ways of getting groups to adopt new

behavior. One of the keys is understanding

how new ideas spread through a population.

Initially, the target has to be the estimated

15 percent of the population who

can be categorized as “early adopters.”

These are the people who are eager to try

out new things. In April 2004, New York

City’s Office of Emergency Management

(OEM) sponsored the first attempt by

Gershon to apply the concept to emergency

preparedness in the city. Could the strategies

he had developed to help communities

combat crime and also to cope with Y2K

problems in 2000 be employed to get New

Yorkers better prepared to deal with terrorism

and other emergencies?

The first step in the program was to

attract people – the “early adopters” – to

become team leaders. Since April 2004,

three team leader training sessions have

been run to provide volunteers with the

techniques necessary to be able to go back

to their buildings or block associations and

initiate emergency preparation programs.

Everyone attending these day-long training

sessions was given a handbook prepared

by Gershon’s Empowerment Institute.

Detailed scenarios were provided for every

stage, from posting flyers (included in the

book), to detailed time allocations for every

meeting.

There were even scripts that could be

followed when leaving a message on someone’s

answering machine: “Hi (person’s

MAY 2006

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF HABITAT MAGAZINE FOR THE BENEFIT OF COMMUNITY BOARD 8 PREPWORK An innovative new program aims to prepare city dwellers for

power blackouts, hurricanes, and terrorist attacks.

By Renee Serlin

Renee Serlin, the president of her Manhattan co-op, produced and directed documentary films in England. She wrote “Shopping for Knowledge” in the April Habitat.

name). This is your neighbor, (your name).

I’m calling about the information meeting

at my home/other location on (date, time).

I’m really looking forward to seeing you.

It’s going to be a very important opportunity

to learn what we can do to protect ourselves

and our families in case of an emergency

and get to know each other better as

neighbors...

Team leaders were asked to use these

techniques to try and establish small teams

of five to eight households who would

work with each other through a preparedness

program. In four bi-weekly meetings,

as structured in the “All Together Now”

workbook, every basic preparedness action

was laid out for the team to follow. Every

meeting focused on one area of preparation,

from setting up emergency supplies

and go-bags to coping with energy disruptions

and providing assistance for disabled

or frail neighbors. Households that

didn’t want to work through the program

with a team, were directed by the team

leader to a simpler 30-day version that

they could work through by themselves.

(All the material for the household program

is still available on the ATN web

site.)

The Seat Belt

On February 13, the conclusion of the

first phase was marked by an award ceremony

for 71 team leaders who had succeeded

in getting households in their buildings

or blocks through the program. Joseph

Bruno, commissioner of the city’s Office of

Emergency Management, together with

Gershon, presented successful team leaders

with a certificate of recognition.

Alan Leidner was one of the volunteers

who received special recognition for getting

50 percent of his home’s residents to

take part in the program. Every floor in his

55-unit co-op had its own team. For

Leidner, a specialist in developing geospatial

systems, it was “a lot like putting on a

seatbelt when you go for a drive. You never

imagine that you’re going to be in an accident

but you know that it makes a lot of

sense to have that seat belt around you – it

just gives you that little extra margin of

security.” Even more important, he adds, is

that a network is springing up within the

building. People that he had once only nodded

to in the elevator are now people with

whom he is involved.

Leidner’s team decided to augment the

details found in the ATN workbook. They

each took on one item and researched it on

the internet so that they could make recommendations

and provide sources for other

households in the co-op. All that information

has now been incorporated in the

material available on the ATN website.

Leidner keeps a small lamp and a light face

mask on his bedside table. In the morning,

these go into his briefcase so that he has

them with him when he’s riding on the subway.

Anybody who wants to find exactly

the same items can go on the website and

find prices and links to purchasing sources

(see box, p. 12).

Pat Sallin and her husband, Al Doyle, are

team leaders in one of the Stuyvesant Town

buildings on Manhattan’s East Side. Like

Leidner, they both have time-consuming

jobs – Sallin as a portfolio administrator

in an asset management company,

Doyle as a project manager in a contracting

company. But they attended the

September ATN meeting to recruit team leaders

and decided this was something they could

do.

There are 102 apartments in their building.

Six households formed a team and

three additional households opted to work

through the individual household program.

Sallin stresses the value of working this

way. When one person was stuck on how to

complete an action from the workbook, the

others would brainstorm or describe their

own approach to the task. Instead of collecting

all the items recommended for a

go-bag, one team member recommended

the packaged go-bag available from the

www. ReadyFreddy.com site. Another

member went to Wal-Mart and bought a

large plastic tub to store all the household

emergency supplies in one place.

“You get ideas from the other people on

the team – you see what they did and you

say, ‘Oh, okay, I can do that,’” says Sallin.

“Or somebody says, ‘I have a problem;

what food are you storing; how are you

storing it; where do you find the expiration

dates?’ Ideas start kicking around.”

Before the ATN program, Sallin had

already picked up Ready New York, a useful

instructional booklet designed by OEM

as a guide to preparing for emergencies.

“But we just filed it away with the rest of

our magazines and stuff and didn’t do anything.

What this program does is it actually

has you do it.” Working with neighbors

makes the difference: “You form a bond

with the other people.”

The Ex-Boy Scout

Glenn Wolin, a team leader based in

Brooklyn, is a Vietnam vet and a former

boy scout. He had already been through an

intensive 25-week training course to be

part of a Community Emergency Response

Team (CERT) group. CERTs are community-

based volunteers who make themselves

ready to provide emergency help

when the first responders (police, firefighters,

medical teams) are busy dealing with

more critical disaster issues.

Wolin asked his teammates whether

they had ever taken any disaster preparation

actions before. Very few had. But, he

notes, “as a CERT member, this is critical:

we’re taught to take care of ourselves first,

then your family, and then others. If they

haven’t got a secure situation at home, they are

DeMaria (top) with windup radio;

Sanchez (bottom) with “go-bag”: learning

to work as a team.

not leaving their family to help others.” He has

been promoting the idea of getting CERT teams

to use the ATN program as part of their basic

training.

Wolin distributed flyers throughout his

neighborhood, inviting people to come to an

information meeting to hear about the new

city program. The response was minimal.

Like almost all the other leaders, he found

that to get people interested, he had to

make personal contact. Knocking on doors

and talking directly to neighbors eventually

resulted in the creation of four teams.

Wolin ran two of them, and another volunteer

led the other two.

The hardest part was keeping people

focused. “Their lives kept intruding,” says

the ex-boy scout. Getting people to complete

the programs wasn’t easy, but without

them, they would just “read through the literature

but not do anything.”

The ATN guidebook outlines 32 possible

emergency preparation actions. On average,

Wolin’s teams completed 14 of the 32 (some

were not applicable, such as ones that only

apply to households with children). So, taking

14 actions is a very good indication of

being prepared.

Wolin says that a lot of people told him

they couldn’t even contemplate all the

potential disasters; it was overwhelming.

The workbook, with its structured

“recipes,” counters that by leading participants

through the process, step-by-step. At

the end, you have a sense of what to do in

an emergency “and this is empowering.”

Those who work through the team program

report feeling tremendous relief at knowing

that not only are they more prepared, but

that they have neighbors to whom they can

turn.

Marathon Man

Will Sanchez is a team leader for an

Upper East Side cooperative. He’s also a

webmaster for the Galloway Running

Group of New York and a graduate of New

York University’s Courant Institute of

Mathematical Sciences. In addition, he is

active in his community board and is a

founding member of a local CERT team. In

between his work and his huge involvement

with his community, he runs

marathons. In other words, Sanchez, like

every other team leader is a powerhouse of

energy and involvement.

Together with Cindy DeMaria, a nutritionist,

whose husband Al DeMaria is president

of the co-op’s board, a strategy was

worked out for engaging people from the 88

apartments in their co-op. Knocking on

doors was ruled out as being much too

aggressive. Instead, they split up the building

between them and slipped a flyer under

every apartment door, personalizing the

notes by adding an additional message

from the two of them. The result? Three

residents opted to follow the single household

program and six households agreed to

form a team.

At the first team meeting, the group

committed itself to following through on

the program and to arriving on time for

meetings and staying until the end.

Sanchez committed himself to keeping the

meetings shorter than the recommended

two hours. The sessions were very productive:

some supplies were purchased in bulk

for the whole group.

Then, halfway through the program,

there was a fire in one of the retail units in

the co-op, and everyone had to leave suddenly.

The nine ATN households were prepared:

they had go-bags ready to grab as

they went out of the door. But what did

Sanchez’s wife take with her? Her laptop

and her purse. The go-bag was just too

heavy.

Fire damage was restricted to the retail

store but, for Sanchez, the incident emphasized

the importance of the ATN recommendation

to practice as many of the preparedness

actions as possible: pick up your

go-bag; find out if you can carry it; try living

for a short while without any electricity and

see whether your supplies are adequate. His

wife now has a much more compact go-bag

purchased from an internet site recommended

by CERT colleagues.

Sanchez, like the others, emphasizes the

huge benefits of making contact with your

neighbors. When the citywide blackout

occurred in 2004, he was devastated to find

that some of his neighbors refused his

offers of help because they didn’t know

who he was. Yet he had been living in the

building for 15 years.

DeMaria, Sanchez’s deputy leader, has

three go-bags in her apartment, one for her

husband, one for herself, and one for Lola,

her cat. Lola’s go-bag includes enough

food for two weeks, water, a bag of litter,

and a large aluminum bake pan to use as a

litter box. The workbook includes step-bystep

instructions for pet supplies. DeMaria,

like many other cat-owners, added the

makeshift litter box.

A Personal Aside

Now, I have to reveal my personal

involvement in this. I believe I am an early

adopter. At least, I was intrigued enough to

sign up for the leadership training course.

However, in my co-op building of 40 units,

only one household signed up to attend an

information meeting and no one embarked

on the ATN program. What did I do wrong?

First, it’s clear from the success stories that

I didn’t make the invitation personal

enough. It went up on the lobby notice

board, I spoke to a few people, and I hoped

for results. Nothing happened. I was

swamped with work and didn’t follow

through on the more extensive guidelines

provided in the training. I think of myself as

one of the failures.

But Gershon has a different take. The

pilot project, he believes, was successful in

showing, albeit in small numbers, that it is

possible to get volunteers to take on the

role of leaders and to change people’s

behavior. In other words, with the right

program structure, even skeptical New

Yorkers will take steps to become prepared.

Results from the almost 1,500 households

who participated in the pilot program

show that there was a significant increase

in preparedness among this group. On

average, people who completed a team

program took 11 preparedness actions. The

most common ones were stocking up with

food and water; preparing a go-bag; purchasing

alternate lighting sources and storing

batteries; making sure that at least one

landline phone was available; assembling

warm clothing; locating a battery-operated

or wind-up radio; checking on household

safety; putting together a first aid kit; and

purchasing a small fire extinguisher.

One thing that has become clear is the

Leider and daughter: be prepared.

need for much more hands-on support for team

leaders. In the pilot program, support for team

leaders came from Gershon’s unit, based in

Woodstock, N.Y., via telephone conferences.

Gershon suggests that if I had received local,

ongoing, peer support instead of long-distance

support from the Empowerment

Institute, I might have gone the distance.

This has, in fact, been the route

Gershon has followed with projects in

other cities. A formal part of those programs

was the establishment of local peer

support that remained in close and frequent

contact with teams. In New York, telephone

support was provided but it wasn’t

peer support, it wasn’t structured into the

design of the program, and it wasn’t

enough.

But the pilot program has

revealed something even more key

to the building of preparedness in

the city. Rather than focusing on

individual preparation as the ultimate

goal, the aim of the program is

now seen as building resiliency. So,

although the next phase will be

exploring the ability of the program

to go to scale or spread widely

throughout the city, the focus will be

on establishing core groups within

buildings.

The Future Is Now

Starting in May, a new layer is

being introduced into the program: 20

volunteers will be trained for the role

of program manager. They will take over

the role that the Empowerment Institute

performed in the pilot. Volunteers will be

selected on the basis of their connections

with people in their buildings, blocks, and

neighborhoods, and with other organizations

throughout the city. Each of the 20

managers will be asked to identify 20 more

people to serve as team leaders; between

them, they will hopefully reach around

5,000 households. Reckoning on an average

of two people per household, the hope is that

this phase will scale up the program to contact

about a quarter of a million people.

When I spoke with Gershon in March

about the new phase, he was still reflecting

on whether it would be possible to get the

20 volunteer program managers that he

was aiming for. It has turned out to be

almost a home run. As All Together Now

gets into its stride, he reports that it is creating

a wave of interest throughout the city.

People are hearing about the new plans and

asking to get involved. At the moment, it

looks as though the 20 program manager

slots are going to be heavily over-subscribed.

But Gershon will be staying with

the limited numbers at this stage. To get it

right, there has to be a gradual scaling up

so that ATN can still be adjusted before it’s

taken up to a citywide level.

Alan Leidner was one of the first people

to sign on as a program manager for the new

phase. Through contacts with a multi-block

association in his area, he is already in touch

with a large group of residents on West

102nd and 103rd streets between Riverside

Drive and Broadway in Manhattan. Other

block associations have asked to be included

in Leidner’s new group; he sees his reach

stretching from West 96th Street all the way

up to West 110th Street. He is confident that

his 20 team leaders will provide the 5,000

households.

Will Sanchez is going to be another of

the 20 program managers. He brings with

him contacts within a huge Upper East

Side multi-block association and the local

CERT team.

Glenn Wolin has already established a

wide-ranging community of households in

his area and will fill the third slot. The 20

volunteers for slots in the new program are

turning out to be people with huge contacts

throughout the city – with their city

council members, community boards,

CERT teams, and block associations.

One volunteer sits as the safety chairwoman

of her community board. She has

access to the 80,000 people within her

area, and she already interacts regularly,

with her local fire and police departments.

In addition to these individual volunteers,

Gershon is now hooking up with a

number of city agencies. The New York

City Housing Authority has formally

signed on to be part of the program: they

have contact with over 600,000 households.

Gershon has allotted them three

program manager slots. The New York

City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is

also working with Gershon to identify volunteer

program managers who can reach

out to the thousands of people under

DFTA’s aegis.

Gershon estimates that, through the

contacts provided by his 20 program

managers, he will have access to around

one million New Yorkers, although in

this next training phase, the scope is

being carefully limited to just a quarterof-

a-million people. The program

managers will not only

be the link to a broad swathe

of the city’s population, they

will also constitute a think

tank for the program, working

with Gershon to refine

the details and scope of the

program.

At the recognition award

ceremony that concluded the

current phase of ATN, Carol

Wilson was asked to relate

her story to the other team

leaders. Like Sanchez, she

experienced a real emergency

while her team was working

through the program. The

“awful” something exuding through her

ceiling in the middle of the night turned

out to be highly toxic mercury.

Breathing mercury vapor can damage

the nervous system and her apartment was

almost totally destroyed in the clean-up

efforts.

Fortunately, Wilson and her team had

already started preparing themselves

before the emergency. They’d all bought

flashlights and extra batteries and stocked

up supplies for a sheltering place.

Unfortunately, they hadn’t yet set up their

go-bags. Wilson was the only one in the

building who was able to grab some useful

supplies – she still had her packed

suitcase. Her upstairs neighbor grabbed

the book he was reading and nothing

else. When she eventually gets back into

her building, she’s planning to finally

have the go-bag meeting and one thing is

certain: “Everybody in my building will

be making a go-bag.” H

SOURCES

Empowerment Institute

P.O.Box 428,

Woodstock, NY 12498

845-657-7768

www.EmpowermentInstitute.net

All Together Now

P.O.Box 428,

Woodstock, NY

845-657-7768

www.EmpowermentInstitute.net/atn

All Together Now resource list

www.EmpowermentInstitute.net/atn/atn_files/ATN_Resources.html

Ready Freddy emergency preparedness kit

$149.95

800-731-2860

www.ReadyFreddy.com

Ready New York guide

Telephone: 311

www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/readynewyork/ready_guide.html

CERT

(NYC Community Emergency Response Team)

Telephone: 311

www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/programs/cert.html

LED Lamp

Princetoan Tec Scout LED Headlamp. Item. 55800. $19.99

800-525-4784

www.Campmor.com

LED Flashlight

Item: 82954. $39.99

800-525-4784

www.Campmor.com

One-Person Deluxe Fanny Pack Survival Kit.

$48.00

(Use the direct link, below, or go to the home page, click on “Customer

Service” and enter the reference number: SK1D ) 800-277-3727

www.QuakeKare.com

www.quakekare.com/index.asp?

PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2

A VIEW FROM THE TOP

All Together Now

BY DAVID GERSHON

Our program, “All Together Now,” has

shown so much promise that funding was

secured from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to

help it prepare to scale up citywide. Currently,

the Empowerment Institute, originator of the

program, is recruiting, training, and coaching

20 volunteer program managers from around the

city to lead their communities.

Should we take reasonable steps to protect our

families and ourselves against these risks? This

choice seems

clear. It is better

to have a plan

for an emergency

that doesn’t

happen then

to have an emergency

but no

plan.

The steps that

make the most

sense in preparing

for an emergency

are a good

idea, 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 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 disasters, but also a great way to

build relationship-rich buildings and blocks that

can improve our quality of life right now.

The age 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 that future

with greater confidence and security.

David Gershon is founder and CEO of Empowerment

Institute. For more information visit www.empowermentinstitute.

net/atn

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                                     Thursday August 27, 2009

                                 10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 82 of the RCN 
                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at

                                              www.mnn.org

                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                                          & click on channel 34 at site

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