Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This Is Why We Needed Occupy Sandy: NY State's Emergency Services Too Devastated and Demoralized to Function

Sandy volunteers in Red Hook. Photo: MK Metz
A post-Sandy report obtained by the Albany Times-Union offers a scathing peak peek inside the operations of New York State's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services during and after Superstorm Sandy.

What it reveals is a demoralized agency operating out of a cold-war bunker in Albany using a computer system incapable of communicating with other systems, trying to cope after its most experienced and knowledgeable staff -- fully 50 percent of its personnel -- took early retirement after being labeled "non-essential" the year before the storm.

The report (posted below, click on the bottom right rectangle to expand) exists in two versions. The one below contains additional text in blue, bolded type meant only for the eyes of DHSES Commissioner Jerome Hauer.

While the report is couched in terms non-critical of Gov. Cuomo, it paints a clear picture how his demand to set up a "regional" OEM center for himself in Manhattan caused chaos, sucking the "A team" out of HQ in Albany, and leaving a resentful and understaffed "B team" trying to function without its most experienced leaders.

This may also explain why a study of Brooklyn's critical surge-capacity hospital and health needs has never been carried out.

Also mentioned in the Huffington Post.

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Anonymous said...

"Peek." Not "peak."

mcbrooklyn said...

Right! Typo corrected, thanks.

Anonymous said...

can you bring back the comments listing on the right hand side?

mcbrooklyn said...

The widget was defective and removed by the Internet gods. We are looking for another one. If we can't find one we'll make one...

Anonymous said...

Thanks--your blog isn't overrun by inane comments and the occasional comment otherwise gets lost.