Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New York City – a suddenly quiet city awaiting the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy’s fury today- Post # 5

Ralph Petti MBCI, CBCP
New York, NY – Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – 0930 ET
Morning has broken…”and it’s exactly the mess that we expected, or worse.
 Having just walked the neighborhood (and check on my car – lots of branches and leaves, but no damage), this residential area is in pretty good shape, but then again, we were on a hill away from the rivers and the tidal onslaught.
Everyone on the line for coffee talked about the East River, just two blocks away from 1st Avenue.  It has come ashore and has flooded the FDR Drive.  Downtown, the Financial District is now under six feet of water and the water extended all the way up to Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Chinatown and other areas that are in Lower Manhattan. The critical infrastructure of New York City – in some cases well over 100 years old – is compromised. Only a controlled shutdown of power by utility companies kept transformers from exploding due to high demands.  We never lost power…7 million did regionally.
My family in New Jersey is fine although my nephew has significant damage as he lives near the coast.  My sister has not reported into any of us as yet, and we are concerned that she weathered the storm.  For New York City, there is no Tuesday morning pulse to the city.  Everyone seems to be off today, and kind of wandering around.  There is a sense of camaraderie, usually not found, except in these times.
I have already been on the phone with clients advising them who to call and what to do.  As we all know, we are professionals in this business and we need to leverage whatever resources are going to be available to us in order to assist in everyone’s recovery.  We cannot “boil the ocean”, but we can make a difference one step at a time, with one organization at a time.  We have that responsibility.
Tomorrow, we should all be reaching out to families, businesses, non-profits, governments and anyone else to discuss HOW they could have been better prepared for this event.  It happened here, and it will happen somewhere else next time.  That somewhere else better not be in an unprepared company’s backyard.  People think that they have dodged a bullet.  Maybe today, but maybe not next time.
It’s time to go look at the river, try to get downtown and try to convince people to be more prepared.

Ralph Petti, MBCI, CBCP is the President of Continuity Dynamics, Inc., an international firm focused on the areas of risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery planning. As a Member of The Business Continuity Institute, he is now sequestered in an apartment Manhattan’s Upper East Side with water and a myriad of supplies and is waiting for the storm to strike the NYC area tonight.  Mr. Petti has already been a guest subject matter expert on The Fox Business News Channel and is now sending frequent updates to The BCI. Reach him at Ralph.Petti@ContinuityDynamics.com or at 908.310.6381.

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