Report Recommendations will Further Strengthen City’s Ability to Respond to Future Storms
Office of Emergency Management to Release Updated Evacuation Maps for 2013 Hurricane Season
Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs today released the City’s After-Action report for Hurricane Sandy, a comprehensive review of the City’s preparedness measures and recovery operations before, during and after the storm. Hurricane Sandy was unlike any storm in the City’s history, displacing thousands of New Yorkers and causing unprecedented damage across the five boroughs. In the days before the storm, the City activated its emergency shelter system and ordered an evacuation of low lying areas susceptible to Sandy’s storm surge. Following the storm, the City led one of the fastest disaster recovery efforts ever seen and that work continues today. In December 2012, Mayor Bloomberg directed Deputy Mayors Holloway and Gibbs to review the City’s preparedness and immediate response to the storm, and to make recommendations to strengthen the City’s capacity to respond quickly and effectively to future storms and other major emergencies. The 59 recommendations in the report fall into six categories: Communications; General and Healthcare Facility Evacuations; Public Safety; General and Special Medical Needs Sheltering; Response and Recovery Logistics; and Community Recovery Services. Mayor Bloomberg accepted the recommendations and work has already begun to implement as many as possible in advance of the 2013 Hurricane season. The After-Action report was developed through more than 100 inter- and intra-agency meetings and collaboration with nonprofit partners and State agencies, and is intended to strengthen the City’s ability to protect life and property in the face of increasing severe weather risks.
‘Hurricane Sandy caused tragic loss of life, uprooted thousands of New Yorkers, and caused unprecedented damage throughout the five boroughs,” said Deputy Mayor Holloway. “Thousands of City employees mounted a massive and comprehensive response, from the first responders who risked their lives to save those in need, to the Department of Sanitation and dozens of City agencies who have worked tirelessly to help New Yorkers recover. This After-Action report makes clear that as well as the City performed, we can always do better; we will take the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and strengthen the City’s capacity to respond to future emergencies.”
Hurricane Sandy was a natural disaster unlike any New York City has experienced and the City responded in kind, with a massive evacuation effort and rapid disaster recovery,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “But we know there are always ways to improve and this after-action evaluation has identified key steps we can take to further enhance our ability to more effectively assist New Yorkers.”
To date, the City has helped more than 20,000 families return to their homes through the Rapid Repairs program, distributed more than 3 million meals to those who needed them and cleared an estimated 700,000 tons of debris. As it works to launch new programs to address housing, business and infrastructure needs in the hardest hit communities with $1.77 billion in Federal aid, the City’s efforts now also focus on the long-term challenges, including developing a roadmap to make New York City more resilient to future storms.
The After-Action Report, available on www.nyc.gov, is focused on the City’s response before, during and after a severe storm – and establishes the City’s priorities for how to prepare for the next severe storm or a similar event. Many of the recommendations in the report are applicable beyond coastal storms and will increase the City’s overall capacity to respond to future emergencies.
After-Action Report Highlights
311 is the primary way that New Yorkers interact with City government and during Hurricane Sandy, call volumes reached unprecedented levels. 311 remained up and running throughout the storm, but it is clear that redundant phone line capacity and other investments are needed to ensure that this means of communication is available with minimal waiting time. With respect to storm-related communications by the City, prior to, during and following the storm major television networks and radio channels carried live press conferences; the City sent more than 2,000 tweets and gained more than 175,000 social media followers; NYC.gov received 4 million unique visitors and 16 million page views; the Mayor Office’s YouTube channel had nearly 1 million views; and the Office of Emergency Management sent Notify NYC alerts via landline, text, email and Twitter to more than 165,000 residents. Recommendations from the After-Action report include formalizing and expanding the regular updates to elected officials and community partners during Hurricane Sandy and expanding the use of cloud-based mapping solutions to support emergency activity.
General and Healthcare Facility Evacuations
On October 28, 2012, Mayor Bloomberg issued a mandatory evacuation of Coastal Storm Plan Evacuation Zone A—including neighborhoods added following Hurricane Irene—based on revised storm-surge projections from the National Weather Service. Only the second general population evacuation in the City’s history, the evacuation order required 375,000 New Yorkers to leave their homes and communities in advance of the storm. Many residents of Zone A heeded the evacuation order and left. Despite extensive communications before the storm, thousands of residents chose not to leave their homes; tragically, 43 New Yorkers lost their lives to the storm.
More than 80,000 NYCHA residents in 423 buildings were impacted by the storm. Leading up to the storm NYCHA made tens of thousands of calls to residents, posted flyers in multiple languages, and worked with the NYPD to make storm related announcements. NYCHA employees also knocked on the doors of seniors and residents who are mobility impaired or who require life-sustaining equipment, and along with the NYPD provided buses to help residents in Zone A evacuate during the weekend preceding the storm.
Since 2006, the Coastal Storm Plan has delineated three evacuation zones – A, B, and C – based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges maps (SLOSH). Following Hurricane Irene, the City updated these evacuation zones; since then, the National Weather Service has enhanced its storm surge model to account for bigger and slower moving storms, as well as improved elevation and high-tide data. The Office of Emergency Management is in the process of updating the City’s evacuation zones for the 2013 hurricane season. The new model will feature new zones designated from 1 through 6 that will replace Zones A, B, and C. The increased number of zones will provide the City more flexibility in targeting areas to evacuate in advance of a predicted storm. The City plans to release detailed information about the new evacuation zones in June 2013 and will make this information available to residents on NYC.gov and 311, as well as through additional outreach.
With respect to health care facilities, the State Department of Health and the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene worked side-by-side in the Healthcare Evacuation Center at the Office of Emergency Management in the days before the storm to prepare healthcare facilities for anticipated storm impacts. State regulations require that hospitals and nursing homes have a backup power source to allow them to shelter in place and continue services in the event of an outage. The decision to order a general evacuation of healthcare facilities must be balanced against the inherent risks of the evac¬uation itself to vulnerable populations. These risks were a substantial consideration before Mayor Bloomberg ordered a general hospital evacuation in advance of Hurricane Irene, and while there were no deaths associated with health¬care evacuations in connection with that storm, the challenges posed by the evacuation were a focus of the City’s after-action review of the Hurricane Irene storm response. Hurricane Sandy’s unprec¬edented storm surge caused widespread power outages and flooding that ultimately compromised the ability of five hospi¬tals and approximately 30 residential facilities to shelter in place throughout the storm and its aftermath. Those facilities were evacuated, and patients and residents were taken to alternate locations, in some cases for extended periods. Although these large-scale evacuations were completed without patient fatali¬ties, several improvements can be made to this component of storm response operations. The report recommends working with the New York State Department of Health to strengthen and enforce current regulations and develop any new regulations that may be necessary to ensure that these facilities have comprehensive emergency plans in place, including adequate back-up power supply, and a specific evacuation plan in the event that one is ordered in the future.
Public Safety is the paramount job of municipal government. During and after the storm, city agencies including the NYPD and the FDNY rescued thousands of people from the rising waters of the storm. The City’s 911 emergency call-taking system reached its highest hourly call volume ever – 20,000 calls per hour – during the storm, and the recently upgraded 911system functioned as designed and did not fail or drop any calls. As a result of the storm surge and high winds, more than a million New Yorkers were left without power. The NYPD provided traffic management and intersection control in areas without functioning traffic signals for weeks after the storm and the City established an intergovernmental a taskforce to prioritize placement of generators and boilers to locations that needed power for immediate life-safety needs. Among the public safety recommendations in the report are expediting the purchase of public safety equipment for rescues, and developing alternative power options to keep traffic and street lights functioning; improving and strengthening pre-storm messaging about the proper use of 911 and 311; developing a comprehensive plan to expedite power restoration to multi-family public and private housing; improving and expanding off-season site generator assessments for public facilities; and establishing a Dewatering and Generator Task Force and Action Plan to activate in advance of an approaching storm that will collect and use detailed information about buildings in flood-prone areas to expedite recovery.
The City’s evacuation shelter system provides a safe place outside the evacuated area to meet evacuees’ basic health and safety needs during a coastal storm or other emergency. If fully activated for all evacuation zones, the system can accommodate up to 600,000 people. During Hurricane Sandy, the City opened the first tier of shelters – enough to accommodate the maximum projected 71,000 people who could potentially seek shelter during an evacuation of Zone A. From the shelters’ opening on October 28 until the City transitioned to other temporary housing options – including hotels – on November 12, approximately 6,800 people sought shelter and eight Special Medical Needs Shelters served a total of 2,236 evacuees, including 1,800 residents of chronic care facilities. Recommendations include updating and expanding the Coastal Storm shelter plan to operate for an expanded period of time and developing a plan for rapid transition to accommodations suitable for medium-term occupancy; improving shelter accessibility for all New Yorkers; working with the State Health Department to ensure better evacuation and shelter in place plans for residential facilities; and utilizing special medical needs shelters only as a last resort.
Response and Recovery Logistics, Utilities & Infrastructure
In its wake, Hurricane Sandy left more than a million New Yorkers without power; destroyed 95 percent of telecommunications infrastructure in Lower Manhattan; and severely damaged the region fuel infrastructure, causing a major fuel shortage. More than 80,000 NYCHA residents in 423 buildings had no power, heat or hot water, and many critical facilities, including multiple hospitals could not provide essential services. The City formed a Task Force that included FEMA and the Army Corps of engineers to immediately source as many generators and boilers as possible to meet unprecedented demand. The City worked with landlords to assist in restoring services to buildings throughout the impacted areas. The After-Action Report recommends that a number of steps be taken to strengthen the City’s ability to restore essential services, including working with utilities to get regular data feeds regarding the status of the electric, natural gas, liquid fuels, and telecommunications networks; the establishment of inter-agency teams to immediately initiate neighborhood and building assessments; and development of a fuel and transportation plan to ensure adequate supply for emergency services and that the transportation network flows as efficiently as possible. Additional recommendations address improvements to debris-removal operations and other immediate recovery operations.
Community Recovery Services
Hurricane Sandy not only caused physical damage to homes and neighborhoods, as well as widespread power and telecommunications outages, but disrupted almost every aspect of life for communities. In response, the City established borough recovery directors to work on the ground and with communities to provide services – including food, water and households items – to New Yorkers in need. In total, more than 1 million bottles of water and more than 3 million meals were distributed. The City also created distribution sites and Restoration Centers that served as one-stop-shops for city, state and federal resources to assist those most impacted by the storm. Recommendations include developing a Food and Water Distribution Task Force to systematize the City’s response operation and formalizing the borough recovery director structure that the Mayor established after Sandy to improve the City’s ability to meet specific needs on the ground.
The City’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy will continue as long as there are New Yorkers who are displaced from their homes and businesses, and until neighborhoods have fully recovered from the storm. The Mayor convened the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency to evaluate the steps the City can take to better protect neighborhoods from major climate events, as well as to develop recovery plans for the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. The Special Initiative will make its recommendations to the Mayor later this month. The City has also submitted its application for federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief funds to assist home and business owners in restoring their properties. Once approved, $1.77 billion will be distributed through City-established programs that focus on New Yorkers whose recovery needs have not yet been met, and fund resiliency measures to protect against storm surge and flooding.
Friday, May 10, 2013
8AM Shotgun Start
Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Course
The following message is from the Preston High School Golf Classic Committee:
Preston High School needs your support!
On Friday, May 10, 2013 Preston High School will be holding their 5th Annual Golf Classic at Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Course. We hope you will be able to participate as a sponsor this year!
Showing your support for this event is critical to its success. As a sponsor you promote your company to the loyal Preston High School community. You will also expose your company to many community leaders and business professionals who are also part of the Classic. Businesses like yours make available the resources that enrich our children’s education and for that we are forever grateful.
We anticipate a successful and well-attended Classic. Show Preston High School friends, neighbors and colleagues your company’s commitment to quality education and become a sponsor. There are various levels of sponsorships. Click here for sponsorship and registration information
We thank you in advance for your support and committment to Preston High School!
The Golf Classic Committee
- Dollars you spend locally support public services in our community.
- Our community is unique and our one of a kind businesses are an integral part of our character. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of these decisions.
- You can grow a relationship with your local merchants. They can get to know you and cater to your preferences.
- Local merchants care about and invest in our community. They donate part of your dollars back to local groups and charities.
- Your local purchases support local jobs.
- When you shop at one local merchant, you are supporting a host of other businesses. Banks, restaurants and other businesses cluster around our local shops.
- Local shops are more accessible for everyone. This is especially important for elderly, vulnerable and young people.
- You can save money by shopping near your home. You drive less, save time, and you would be surprised how ofter the retail prices are lower.
- You can reduce your environmental impact by cutting out drives to big box shopping centers outside our community.
- Your purchases help our community attract new entrepreneurs and skilled workers. When we preserve our one of a kind businesses and distinctive character, we are more successful in recruiting.
Think about all these reasons the next time you are getting into your car to shop outside of our communities. We know that sometimes it is unavoidable and you need to make purchases outside the community, all we ask is to consider your local merchants first. Help support local merchants and help your community.
Categories: Community Information, General Articles, Public Notice, Small Business Tags: Bronx, Bronx Women, Business Services, Business Tips, Community Services, Home and Office, Job Wanted, Merchant, New York City, Retail Business, Sales, Street Fair
MenusNY is a division of Nouri Data Systems, a web development company operating right here in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx, New York.
Being a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of getting communities to realize the benefits of shopping and doing business locally.
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Throggs Neck Merchant Association and a member of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, we have frequently debated the issue of “What is the best way to get consumers in a community to shop locally?” Although there are many factors to consider when trying to get consumers to shop locally, all of which are outside the scope of this text, there is one thing that people will always purchase locally. Take-Out Food.
Thus, the creation of MenusNY.
With MenusNY, we can provide a service for the community, restaurants, and any local business that wants to get its information out to the local community.
This effort will provide:
- Local residents with a menu from a local restaurant;
- The restaurant with a full color menu for a fraction of the actual printing cost (menus are sometimes too cost prohibitive for some restaurants to print);
- Local businesses with the opportunity to advertise to local residents.
We believe this is a first step in getting a community to shop locally.
In most communities, most local residents will never know of the existence of a majority of businesses doing business within one mile of their homes. This is a very unfortunate situation for the businesses that are going unnoticed and the community member that thinks it needs to travel outside the community for a particular purchase or service. With MenusNY we are trying to change that, and with your help, we think we can.
If you are a small business or you know a business that can benefit from our services, please feel free to contact us at 347 838-5708, send an email to email@example.com or visit our co-op page at http://www.menusny.com/co-op.
To search for a favorite restaurant, visit www.menusny.com
If you own a restaurant and want to submit your menu to MenusNY, please send a PDF version of the menu to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently looking for sales persons to help with our expansion process. All interested parties should send an email with their resume to email@example.com
The menu submission service is free of charge to restaurants.
Categories: Community Information, Consumer Deals, General Articles, Public Notice, Reviews, Small Business Tags: Bronx, Business Services, Business Tips, Community Services, Help Wanted, Retail Business
Congressman Joseph Crowley With Councilman Jimmy Vacca
BRONX TOWN HALL MEETING
Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.
City Island Community Center
190 Fordham Street
What will new flood maps mean for you?
The central topic of discussion will be the impact of the new flood maps released by FEMA on the Bronx. The Town Hall Meeting will include The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NYC Department of Buildings. Representatives from both agencies will will answer questions about new flood maps, insurance, building codes and flood prevention.
RSVP to Crowley.Events@mail.house.gov or call 718.779.1400 for info.