Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New York City – a suddenly quiet city awaiting the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy’s fury today- Post # 4

New York, NY – Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – 02:30 ET

Ralph Petti MBCI, CBCP
The storm is just departing us, but this is just the beginning. 4,000,000 customers are without power in the New York metropolitan area.
It is the middle of the night.  I slept on and off and was riveted to the news to see what was happening.  My friends have sent texts to me all night long as they bespeak their trials and tribulations of what was happening to them, what are the effects on their family, what clean-up was being considered and mostly asking: When will the power be back?  
New York City is dark, only lit by some neighborhoods that somehow still have power.  New York City is quiet, save for some police and fire engine sirens and the continued 40 MPH winds.  New York City is resilient, as always; already the street cleaners’ yellow lights are running up and down main streets. 
Wall Street is not only closed, but under a pool of four feet of water.  Ten of eleven bridges/tunnels are closed and will be for most of the day – providing no access into/out of this city.  The City of New York is indeed “open for business” as Mayor Bloomberg has continually stated and will do their best.
So, what can we do?  Let’s look at the resources available to us. As professionals, we need to reach out to the years of contacts and resources who we know. Most of the cellphone towers seem to have survived so we find that communications is available. Transportation is not an option.  The ability to work from offices is limited, so working at home may be an option. Reciprocal arrangements with your other office locations outside of the east coast could be an option.  International locations will assist.
It is still high tide in many areas and the image of water pouring into the tunnels may us all wonder if things will ever be the same. How can they reclaim these passageways from Mother Nature and get everyone back to normal.  What will be the new normal?  What will businesses do now that they have actually experienced a “worst case – perfect storm scenario”.  The sirens are still blaring, there are at least a dozen fatalities in New York, and that does not count those who did not flee the barrier islands.  
The sun will not be rising for another four hours. It’s time to get some sleep, and say my prayers again.
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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