City evaluates its Sandy response in new report

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
(Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office)

The city released a comprehensive review today about Superstorm Sandy, evaluating how its agencies functioned during the storm.

The mayor-ordered report evaluated how prepared officials were before, during and after the storm.

Bloomberg asked two deputy mayors to review the city’s actions in December. Today, the administration said the recovery efforts were some of the fastest ever.

Officials issued 59 recommendations, focusing on things like evacuations, public safety and shelters.

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway, who helped craft the report, said the hurricane “caused unprecedented damage throughout the five boroughs.”

“As well as the city performed, we can always do better,” he said. “We will take the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and strengthen the city’s capacity to respond to future emergencies.”

One highlighted area was 311, which officials said was available throughout the storm but could have had shorter waiting times.

The Office of Emergency Management is also updating the city’s evacuation zones for the 2013 hurricane season, implementing zones from 1 to 6 to replace Zones A, B and C. These zones will be announced in June, according to the city.

The report also suggested the Department of Health evaluate their regulations for evacuation procedures, including back-up power supply, which was an issue when generators failed, causing evacuations.

The city maintained that the 911 system did not fail or drop calls during Sandy, despite criticism that people were not able to reach responders through the system.

The city said 20,00 families have returned to their homes through the Rapid Repairs program, which helped fix up homes.

But many are still unable to return, including hundreds waiting on a court ruling about whether the city can kick them out of city-funded hotel rooms.

The review recommended identifying shelter that would be usable for a longer time.


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