30 Issues: Disaster Preparedness and Response

Friday, October 04, 2013

NYC Evacuation Zones during Hurricane Sandy NYC Evacuation Zones during Hurricane Sandy (John Keefe/WNYC)

It’s Public Safety Week on the Brian Lehrer Show’s election series “30 issues in 30 Days.” See the full 30 Issues schedule and archive here.

30 Issues Public Safety Week wraps up with a look at disaster response and the next mayor with Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia School of Public Health.


Irwin Redlener

Comments [10]


Animals need to be prepared too! Easy dog training tips!

Nov. 23 2013 07:26 AM

Hopefully Mr. De Blasio will realize that the way to get local organizations involved in disaster relief will be to give them greater control over the conditions that are created before the disaster.
Seems reasonable to allow these non-profit community entities to organize buildings in a way that locates "the-most-vulnerable" tenants on lower floors and "the-fortunately-mobile" tenants on upper floors. It's clear that many lives and resources will be saved by not being dependent on elevators to escape inevitable weather disasters.

Oct. 04 2013 03:22 PM
Joseph Coen from Brooklyn, NY

Irwin Ledlener said that there is a need for NYC to work more with community based organizations that can reach vulnerable individuals in disaster situations. We also need outreach to vulnerable organizations and businesses as well. Hurricane Sandy damaged many cultural organizations, as well as artists and other small businesses in places like Red Hook and Soho.

An example of the kind of planning and outreach to community based organizations that should take place is the New York Archives Week 2013 Symposium "Disaster Planning for Archives and their Communities" co-sponsored by the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (A. R. T.) and the Center for Jewish History (C. I. J.) which will be held on Monday, Oct. 7.

Oct. 04 2013 11:00 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I heard or read (don't remember the source, but it was one I found believable) during the primaries that much of what Mr. Lhota got credit for during & after Sandy was actually done by his 2nd-in-command, Thomas Prendergast, who is now the head of the MTA.

And there were warnings that Sandy was going to be out of proportion to any storm of hurricane we'd seen before. Mr. Lhota has no excuse for not expecting the storm surge to be higher than normal.

Oct. 04 2013 11:00 AM
Joel Hubbard from Smithtown

Name of Program: NYC OEM CERT
Point of Contact: Meagan van Harte
Phone Number: 7184224856
E-mail address:
Website address:
Brief Description: NYC CERT members undergo an intensive 10-week training program that provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, community disaster support, disaster medical operations and traffic management. NYC CERT instructors are FDNY, NYPD, and OEM personnel. NYC CERT members are trained to support New York City's first responders and are deployed through NYC OEM Watch Command. There are currently 54 teams and approximately 1,100 CERT team members in our program.

Oct. 04 2013 10:57 AM
PHILIOR from Brooklyn

The most dangerous of all is Mr.Redlener's position: "We do not expect two airplanes attacking New York"(not verbatim).
This is exactly what may very likely happen and precisely because "we" do not expect it.
Of course, it is not as easy to highjack an air plain as it was stupidly available 12 years ago. But we have no control over the crew composition of Egyptian, Pakistani, Yemeni, Saudi, etc. airplanes entering the New York air space.

Oct. 04 2013 10:51 AM
Jay from New York

Joe Lhota has so much more experience managing systems and institutions.
How can he think that someone who is managing a TINY city office has superior skills for managing a crisis. Very illogical and sounds like an ad for De Blasio. Do not feel this was a balance evaluation.

Oct. 04 2013 10:51 AM
Jean from midtown

This guy seems to be a De Blasio spokesperson. Brian, you couldn't find someone a tad more neutral?

Oct. 04 2013 10:49 AM
mbk from manhattan

You two are being anything but fair and balanced with Lohta's record. Your word choices betray your reluctance to REALLY give Lohta the credit he deserves. What has DeBlasio ever done in an actual emergency situation? What real experience does he have to draw on? He is big on ideas, I will give him that.

Oct. 04 2013 10:48 AM
Joe from home

Hilariously, Bloomberg claims he hasn't had a vacation in 12 years. Yet we all know he was in the Bahamas during the giant snowstorm. Not crucial, yes, but one more example of politician BS.

Oct. 04 2013 10:48 AM

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