New report details what city can do to prepare for next natural disaster

Posted at 10:47 PM, May 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-03 22:55:39-04

Through the convenient lens of hindsight, the Bloomberg administration now realizes the city can do a better job to prepare for – and protect against another super storm like Hurricane Sandy.

“We said at hurricane time that we should spend some time and do in depth, and figure out what we did well, and what we could have done better, what we will have ready the next time, if similar things happen”, said Mayor Bloomberg.

The report is comprehensive 67 pages and goes into detail about the problems that arose during that night of fury,when streets were flooded, homes were destroyed and residents lives were turned upside down.

The report also offers a list of 60 recommendations on a variety of subjects on everything from Communications to Recovery.

But the one area of concern detailed in the report that caught our eye here in the Pix11 Newsroom is evacuation.

“One of the recommendations is to strengthen our communications, and make sure people know that when a storm is coming that it’s very serious. We did a survey of about 500 people in the flood zone and asked them some basic questions. Did you know the storm was coming. Did you evacuate. Who did you hear it from”, said NYC Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway.

Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway – speaking on Mayor Bloomberg’s radio show Friday – says more than 30% of the city’s residents chose not to evacuate.

One of the report’s recommendations states, “Ensure that communications clearly explain the importance of following an evacuation order or other official instructions.”

Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg’s statements to the public – days before the storm, were part of the problem.

“We are not ordering any evacuations at this time for any part of the city. This storm is a dangerous storm and may not act as predicted”, said Mayor Bloomberg before the storm.

By October 29th, even President Obama was singing a different tune.

“Obviously everyone is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm and all across the eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations”, said the President.