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Secretary Johnson Presents Rick Rescorla Award to the New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor Brown

Release Date: 
April 3, 2014

Secretary Johnson throws out ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

NEW YORK— Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson presented the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to the New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor John Brown, recognizing their contributions to their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Following that, Secretary Johnson threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the second baseball game between the Mets and the Washington Nationals in Citi Field. 

“Resilience is part of the fabric of our nation, and when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast in 2012, that night and days following, we saw citizens and members of this country rise above to support those in need,” said Secretary Johnson. “The New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor John Brown have all recognized the importance of resilience, not only within their organizations but in support of their communities and I thank them for everything they do in support of their communities and our nation.” 

On the evening of October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey, with impacts felt across more than a dozen states. The storm battered the East Coast, particularly the densely-populated New York and New Jersey coasts, with heavy rain, strong winds, and record storm surges. In the aftermath, Monsignor John Brown of Belle Harbor, N.Y., Walgreens drugstores and the New York Mets all worked tirelessly to help their communities recover from the storm. 

Under Monsignor Brown’s leadership, St. Francis de Sales Parish became the largest relief center on the Rockaway peninsula, providing hot food, medical care, mental health care, trauma counseling, clothing, cleaning supplies, pet food, veterinary care, and more. At the height of the effort it served between 4,000 - 10,000 people per day. 

Walgreens drugstores implemented business continuity plans before the storm made landfall, enabling the company to continue providing for basic human needs.  In the aftermath of the storm, Walgreens drugstores quickly dispatched mobile pharmacies and constructed temporary pharmacies, continuing to provide much needed services throughout the region. The company also shipped in 25,000 blankets, three semi-trailer loads of water, and other items that governmental organizations were lacking. 

The New York Mets, working with the City’s Office of Emergency Management, opened their facilities to be used as a Logistics Staging Area for more than three and a half months to receive, stage, and distribute unassigned resources prior to or following the storm. The Mets also supported first responders’ daily efforts by providing housing for up to 600 workers a night and distributing over 1,500 meals per day during the peak recovery period following the storm. 

In 2011, DHS created the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience in memory of Richard "Rick" Rescorla, who on September 11, 2001 led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700-person workforce located in the South Tower, saving the lives of all but six. Following the 1993 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Rescorla regularly drilled his Morgan Stanley employees in disaster preparedness and response, especially evacuation, ensuring that employees knew how to evacuate and where to go on 9/11.  Given that disasters put millions of Americans in danger every year and destroy billions of dollars’ worth of property, Rescorla’s example of preparedness is especially important. The Rescorla Award is the Department of Homeland Security’s first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters. 

After the award presentation, Secretary Johnson also joined fans and players to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at Fort Hood yesterday. 

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov

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Review Date: 
April 3, 2014
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