Weathering the Storm Warnings What Boards and Managers Need to Know

A panel spoke about emergency preparedness at Argo University for Boards, (l-r) Pat Antonacci, Lindsay Goldman, Ira Tannenbaum. (Debra Estock)

A panel of emergency preparedness experts told board members and managers how to prepare their buildings to weather coastal storms, like 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, safely.

In the recent installment of Argo University for Boards at Manhattan's Hotel Beacon on September 27th , the panelIra Tannenbaum, an assistant commissioner and the director of public/private initiatives for the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM); Lindsay Goldman, the director of Healthy Aging at the New York Academy of Medicine; and Pat Antonacci, an insurance broker and the executive vice president of the Stockbridge Groupoutlined steps that buildings and administrators should take to make sure not only that the building infrastructure is battened down for the storm, but that residents are aware of what’s going on and can be safely evacuated if the weather gets much worse.

Establish a Registry

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.

Each building, says Goldman, should have a registry of those in the building that have some kind of special needs, such as the elderly, infirm or those who have a physical or cognitive impairment.

So what can the community do to support people who may be a little more vulnerable? Or what is the best way to communicate in an emergency? Older people in Hurricane Sandy were more likely to rely on landlines but those failed, Goldman says, adding that one of the main priorities during a storm event or any emergency situation is communication.

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