Hurricane Sandy is now all but confirmed to hit the NYC Metro area Monday night, October 29th. The Transit system has begun preparations since Thursday. A lot is involved in preparation for a major, potentially catastrophic storm.
In the Bus Depots, we prepare for before, during, and after the storm. Some of the things that we look at very early in the planning process are;
Do we have enough personnel available to provide service before, possibly during, and after the storm. Will personnel be able to make it in. Should we keep a percentage of personnel on hand at the locations to restore service quickly if it is curtailed? Do we have enough personnel to provide both regular route service and evacuation services if necessary?
Do we have enough fuel. Are the back-up generators working? Are the sewer and drain lines free and clear and able to handle the massive amounts of water expected? Has the facility been made safe for personnel to remain on the property. Any potential "flying" debris secured?
Are clear lines of communication established and working between the Command Center Situation Room and all the necessary agencies such as OEM, NYPD, and PORT AUTHORITY. Were the previous storms performance critiqued and reviewed. Is all personnel familiar with the current storm processes and plan?
Has known flooding locations taken required steps to secure equipment to higher ground? Are back up cellular phones in place? Are we prepared to operate a few days without power and consistent communications?
These questions have been long thought of months before the upcoming storm. Now the plans and drills practiced go into place. Hopefully, the storm will not be as bad as the weather forecasts predict. But if the worst occurs, we will be ready to "move" people safely, assist as emergency responders, while protecting our equipment and personnel in the process. We are ready. Lets roll!