To address both the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and the city’s growing vulnerability to extreme weather events, a number of initiatives have been launched at the City, State and Federal levels. The RISE : NYC competition – under development by the City of New York and funded by the Federal government – is one of these initiatives.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated $4.21 billion to the City of New York in Federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding. In keeping with HUD’s mission to strengthen communities and bolster the economy, these funds are intended to support disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and vulnerable areas following Superstorm Sandy and other recent storm events. Specific attention is given to low- and moderate- income areas and their residents.

The CDBG-DR funds will be disbursed according to the City’s CDBG-DR Action Plan, which describes the City’s allocation of the CDBG-DR grant to various housing, business, infrastructure, and resilience programs. As part of the funding allocated for business programs, up to $30 million will be distributed through RISE : NYC for the implementation of projects that use innovative and cost-effective measures to improve building and infrastructure resiliency.

A summary of City, State and Federal efforts is provided below. Links to related reports and materials can be found on the Resources page.

Resiliency

RISE : NYC defines ‘resiliency’ as the ability to minimize potential damage before an event or, if damage does occur, recover and return to operation quickly.

New York City

In New York City, most efforts have been integrated into "OneNYC", the City’s CDBG-DR Action Plan and amendments, as well as “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”, a comprehensive plan put forth in June 2013 as part of the City’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR). The report provides recommendations for rebuilding and resiliency solutions across more than a dozen city networks, systems and industries, including power and telecommunications. In addition, the report provides specific community rebuilding and resiliency recommendations for five areas that experienced significant impacts from Superstorm Sandy, including the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront, East and South Shores of Staten Island, South Queens, Southern Brooklyn, and Southern Manhattan.

New York State

At the State level, storm recovery initiatives have addressed resiliency issues facing homes, businesses, transportation networks, coastal and inland infrastructure, and local community planning groups. These efforts include the NYS 2100 Commission, tasked with identifying strategies for infrastructure resiliency during natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program, designed to assist impacted communities in developing comprehensive and innovative rebuilding plans.

Federal

The Federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force was established in December 2012 to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal agencies and local governmental authorities coordinate regional rebuilding efforts and future planning. The Task Force has helped to guide Sandy-impacted states through the early stages of the long-term recovery process, and has produced a report detailing sixty nine policy initiatives to improve the Federal government’s ability to prepare for and respond to future disasters. The report identifies potential improvements to the electrical grid, communication systems, and fuel supply chains, and recommends that governments and residents be provided with the best scientific data available on current and future risks. Further, it provides guidance on faster, healthier, and safer future recovery for impacted communities, for example insurance reforms or quick emergency repair response. In addition, in June 2013 the Task Force launched Rebuild By Design, a regional competition seeking scalable yet contextual resiliency solutions to be implemented with combined public and private support.