A panel of emergency preparedness experts from emergency management to officials with the NYPD and SEIU Local 32BJ told a roomful of board members and managers the urgency of preparing residents and building staff for events ranging from terrorism to fire to power outages and weather disturbances.
More than 150 people attended the Argo University for Boards seminar at The New School for Social Research June 15th gathering a wealth of information on how to prepare for any emergency situation.
Front Line of Defense
In most scenarios, your building staff is called upon to deal with any situation prior to the arrival of the first responders: police, fire, health department, medical professionals or emergency management officials.
Ira Tannenbaum, the assistant commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), gave an overview of the services OEM provides.
Although New York City is and remains the number 1 terrorist target as seen on 9/11, the most common emergencies handled by OEM, notes Tannenbaum, are more routine: weather-related as in Hurricane Sandy or a fire, water main break, transportation disruption or a massive citywide power outage like the Northeast blackout in 2003. “What do we do every day? We are an agency like the fire department and the police department and 45 other agencies in the New York City government that are here to serve you and work with you and represent you and ensure that you as residents of New York City have what you need. We certainly plan and prepare for emergencies every day,” says Tannenbaum.