FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 31, 2021
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NYCHA ACTIVATES EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER TO RESPOND TO SNOW EVENT
Mobilization of multiple NYCHA departments and resources will facilitate faster and more robust emergency response ahead of significant snowfall
NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will activate its virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday morning at 8 a.m. to manage the response to the snow storm that is expected to bring approximately 12 –16 inches to the New York City region starting on Sunday evening and continuing to Tuesday evening.
Coordinated by the Authority’s Office of Emergency Management, the centralized Emergency Operations Center will be operational Monday through Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, with NYCHA departments that include Emergency Services; Heating Management Services; Maintenance, Repair & Skilled Trades; Operations; Capital Projects; Community Engagement & Partnerships; Communications; and Intergovernmental Relations. The combined presence of these various departments will enable NYCHA to quickly respond to service interruptions and public safety hazards and communicate information to NYCHA residents throughout the city. We are also providing staff to New York City’s Emergency Management activated virtual EOC.
“This will be a significant snowfall and all NYCHA departments will be at the ready to respond to any and all emergencies,” said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. “By activating the Emergency Operations Center early tomorrow morning and prepping our equipment, staff, and partner vendors well in advance, we can minimize the disruption this snowstorm might cause to our residents.”
The New York City Office of Emergency Management has issued a hazardous travel advisory for Sunday, January 31 to Tuesday February 2. Overall, the storm has the potential for near blizzard conditions, overnight wind chill temperatures in the teens, icy conditions and sustained wind gusts that could reach up to 40 to 45 MPH.
NYCHA has taken a range of measures to prepare for this snowstorm. They include mobilizing snow removal equipment and bringing in additional staff to efficiently and effectively conduct snow removal operations, as needed; alerting area tree vendors; and assembling additional roving teams of heating technicians, with plumbers and electricians at the ready as well. Additionally, mobile generators have been prepared for deployment, construction sheds are being secured, and additional vendors have been put on alert should their response be needed.
With the Authority’s Heating Dashboard and data from heat sensors in the Computerized Heating Automation System being actively monitored by NYCHA’s Heat Desk, the EOC will allow NYCHA to respond to heating service and power interruptions – as well as other safety hazards such as downed trees and power lines, flooded areas, and exposed roofs and ceilings.
Staff from NYCHA’s Heat Desk and Skilled Trades departments will be in contact with front-line development staff throughout the day and will provide reports to Heating, Operations, and Executive staff every two hours.
NYCHA’s Office of Emergency Management also coordinates with the New York City Office of Emergency Management to identify additional external resources, if needed, during any unscheduled service interruptions. Per standard protocol, the New York City Office of Emergency Management is activating the city’s Winter Weather Emergency Plan and its own Emergency Operations Center beginning Sunday 1/31 at 8PM.
This week marks the third activation of NYCHA's virtual Emergency Operations Center during the 2020-2021 heating season.
This year, it has taken an average of 9 hours to restore heat and hot water services compared to 10 hours last heating season. NYCHA has invested more than $45 million to upgrade heat and hot water equipment as well as related heating system parts since the start of 2020 and has hired 70 new heating plant technicians and 12 plumbing teams over the past year to provide 24/7 coverage, including evening and overnight roving teams.
The activation of the Emergency Operations Center aligns with the Authority's efforts to work closely with the de Blasio administration when responding to inclement weather events.
Below are some snowstorm safety tips :
Residents can report service interruptions using the MyNYCHA app or by calling NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
The New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA” or the “Authority”) provides affordable housing to 380,299 authorized residents in over 177,611 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves 359,593 authorized residents in over 168,100 apartments within 285 housing developments through the conventional public housing program (Section 9) and 20,706 authorized residents in 9,511 units within 50 developments that were converted to PACT/RAD. Through federal rent subsidies (Section 8 Leased Housing Program), NYCHA also assists approximately 77,663 families in locating and renting units. In addition, NYCHA facilitates access to social services through a variety of programs. 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.