Stormy Weathered

A panel of experts in emergency preparedness offered a talk on how to prepare their buildings for coastal storms, based on lessons learned from the response to and recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Speaking to board members and managers, and focusing on the New York area, the panel spoke in a recent installment of Argo University for Boards at Manhattan's Hotel Beacon in late September, offering several key pieces of advice:

  • Record Keeping: Ensure a list of all those in their buildings is available, including details like age, ethnicity, languages spoken, and any special needs, to allow for proper communication and support in the event of an emergency;
  • Maintain Communication: Determine methods to keep in contact with residents, so as to be able to identify those in greatest need of assistance, and to provide instructions;
  • Update Insurance: Review policies to ensure sufficient coverage, for both normal and supplemental events.

"Sandy was a massive storm event from which the city hasn’t fully recovered,” said a member of the panel, Ira Tannenbaum, an assistant commissioner and the director of public/private initiatives for the New York City Office of Emergency Management.