FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2020
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NYCHA ACTIVATES SITUATION ROOM AHEAD OF COMING WINTER STORM EXPECTED ON SATURDAY
Third activation of Situation Room will help facilitate faster and more robust emergency response ahead of expected snowfall and extreme cold temperatures through Wednesday
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) mobilized its Situation Room in advance of all-day snowfall expected in the New York City region starting on Saturday.
NYCHA's Office of Emergency Management will oversee the centralized incident command center – working closely with members of the Authority's Heating Management and Services (HMSD); Maintenance, Repair & Skilled Trades; Operations; Capital Projects; and Family Partnerships departments to coordinate repair and service needs for NYCHA residents.
Staff will be stationed at the Situation Room beginning Saturday at 12pm until 8pm to deal with the expected snowfall, and again on Monday through Wednesday from 8am until 10pm to deal with extreme cold temperatures. On-the-ground staff preparations will include roving heat teams as well as caretakers to shovel snow and salt walkways. Mobile boilers will also be available for possible deployment. Residents can report service interruptions using the MyNYCHA app or by calling 718-707-7771.
Technological capabilities at the Situation Room will enable NYCHA staff to track, monitor, and report all heat service disruptions – using the Heating Dashboard and data from heat sensors in the Computerized Heating Automation System (CHAS). Heat Desk staff will be in contact with frontline staff throughout the day and report up to HMSD and Executive staff every two hours.
If needed, warming centers will be activated across the five boroughs to accommodate residents.
"We are erring on the side of caution because the snowfall is expected to extend into Saturday night and then extreme cold weather is supposed to come right on the heels of that," said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. "It's the sort of unpredictable cold weather event you want to be overprepared for to quickly address whatever issues may arise."
This week marks the third activation of NYCHA's improved Situation Room during the 2019-2020 heating season, during which heat and hot water services have been restored in 8 hours on average, compared to 12 hours last year. Overall, 95 percent of heating outages have been resolved within 24 hours and there have been no heating outages lasting more than 48 hours.
NYCHA has also hired twelve field coordinators to assist with managing localized efforts during emergency incidents. They will serve as points of contact for the Emergency Management and Operations teams, assisting with managing logistical requests and aiding in interdepartmental and interagency communication and collaboration.
The activation of the Situation Room is in keeping with the Authority's efforts to work closely with the de Blasio administration when responding to heat-related issues, and follow the Heating Action Plan guidelines approved by the Federal Monitor in December 2019.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA's mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Over 390,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA's 316 public housing developments and PACT/RAD developments formerly managed by NYCHA around the five boroughs. Over 190,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.