By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Get prepared and know your zone!” urged Janet Riveras, payroll administer at the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) at Thursday’s “One Brooklyn Resource Fair” at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
“Go home, get your supplies, and make something you can grab to get you through a few days in a shelter,” Ms. Riveras said as she handed out hurricane preparedness brochures and free pens to all comers.
Representatives from dozens of city agencies and private utilities manned tables set up provided packets of information to block presidents and local organizers to help them “learn how to turn their communities into successful neighborhoods, block by block." The event was hosted by Borough President Eric Adams.
NYPD Brooklyn South provided safety tips and crime prevention advice. “The biggest problem? Unattended property,” said a representative of NYPD's Public Information office. “People don’t lock their doors, and they just put their phones down.”
“Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions,” he said. “People don’t pay attention; safety is secondary to text messaging.”
Reasa Semper, Director of Outreach for the NYC Department of Finance, wanted attendees to know that the department “administers programs to help both property owners and renters.” She handed out tax guides and information about exemptions that could save homeowners money, “especially SCRIE, a program for senior renters in rent stabilized and regulated apartments.”
Crecia Blum, with Community Relations at the Kings County District Attorney’s office, reminded visitors that the D.A. represents quality of life complaints, landlord-tenant issues, public safety and crime concerns. “People have asked me about elder abuse and scams against the elderly,” she said.
Christina Basemore, president of the Newkirk Avenue United Block Association, said her block’s concerns included “gangs, criminals, landlords harassing you, and cleanliness.”
“I wrote to the previous mayor and told him we need ‘clean, green and safe,’” she said. “I went through hell. Some people didn’t want improvement.” Still, things are a bit better now. “With the help of God I continue doing.”
Speakers at the event included moderator Nan Blackshear, Director, Constituent Assistance Center at the BP’s office; Diana Reyna, Deputy Borough President; Kevin Cummings, Managing Director of NYC Service; Caroline Nagy, Policy Manager for the Center for NYC Neighborhoods; Joe Barbieri, Brooklyn Field Director ‘NextDoor’; and Gail Dixon, President of the East 49th and East 48th Street Block Association.