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OEM Report

OEM Report

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Published by Anna Pycior

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Published by: Anna Pycior on Aug 26, 2011
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07/08/2014

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Preliminary Report on New York City Emergency Response andEvacuation Plans in the Event of a Weather-Related Emergency
 
“People would stop evacuating simply because they were unable to evacuate.”-
New York Hurricane Evacuation Study, April 2005
1
 
Richard L. Brodsky
 
Chairman
 
Committee on Corporations,
 
Authorities, and Commissions
 
September 15, 2005
 
1
 
Hurricane Evacuation Study Program, (April 2005)
New York City Hurricane Evacuation StudyBehavioral Analysis Findings
[online] Available:http://chps.sam.usace.army.mil/USHESdata/NY/NY_city_behave_report.htm [September 8, 2005].
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTSI.
 
Introduction………………………………………………………….......1II.
 
History of New York Hurricanes………………………………….......2III.
 
 Weather-Related Evacuations………………………………………….31. Reliability of Evacuation Plans………………………………………...3a.
 
 Number of People Needing Evacuation
……………………………3b.
 
 Available Evacuation Resources
……………………………….......4c.
 
 Lead Time
…………………………………………………………......5d.
 
 Process, Accessibility, and Distance of Evacuation Routes and Shelters
………………………………………………….6i.
 
Process…………………………………….....................6ii.
 
Accessibility and Distance………………………......6e.
 
Special Populations
………………………………………………….7 f.
 
Vulnerable Tunnels, Roadways, and Bridges
……………………..7 g.
 
 Participation and Training of Public Employees
………………...8h.
 
“Self Evacuation” 
…………………………………………………....9i.
 
Coordination between Municipalities and Agencies
…………….102. Public Awareness and Education………………………………………103. Sufficient Shelter Space and Services……………………………........12
a. Services to Those Who Can Not or Do Not Evacuate
…………....13IV. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………131. Questions Under Continuing Inquiry…………………………............13Appendix A ……………………………………………………………………...15Appendix B ……………………………………………………………………....18
 
 
 
I. Introduction
The Hurricane Katrina disaster makes clear how truly vulnerable we are to weather-related disasters, and how many government agencies with legal responsibility foremergency and evacuation planning may be unprepared and ineffective. Thedisproportionate impacts on the poor, the disabled, and minority communities areespecially unacceptable in a society which proclaims that human life and property can andwill be protected by government regardless of income, race, or disability. That experiencerequires an immediate and thorough public review of existing plans. This PreliminaryReport is the first step in that process.Emergency and evacuation planning for New York City are the responsibilities ofthe City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) under the supervision of the Mayor,and depend heavily on mass transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), thePort Authority and other state and local authorities and agencies. The MTA strongly assertsthat their role is to provide transportation assets to OEM and the State EmergencyManagement Office (SEMO) and to participate in the OEM evacuation plan, which wasdeveloped and approved solely by OEM.There are two kinds of evacuation and emergency response plans for New YorkCity. The first plan is weather-related, focusing on low lying areas, with the assumption ofsignificant lead time for the evacuation. The second is an “area evacuation,” in whichspecific areas and eventually the entire city may be evacuated because of a serious disaster,including accidents or security related attacks, for which there may or may not be anyadvance notice. According to emergency response professionals, while weather-relatedevacuations do not raise significant security related issues, area evacuation plans are moresecurity-sensitive and there is a reluctance to disclose specific area
 
evacuation assets andplans.
2
This inquiry will focus exclusively on weather-related evacuations.
 
It should be noted that many of the questions and concerns raised in thispreliminary analysis may have been considered by the responsible agencies. The decisionby the Office of the Mayor not to release any documents, nor to permit the AssemblyCommittee on Corporations, Commissions and Authority (the “Committee”) to review the
2
Commissioner Joseph Bruno in a conversation with Chairman Richard Brodsky, September 7, 2005
1

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