2011-01-21 / Top Stories

Bloomberg Sets Snow Removal Upgrade

The Bloomberg Administration on Monday released a 15-Point Action Plan following its preliminary review of the City’s response to last month’s blizzard. The plan was released at the City Council’s Joint Oversight Hearing on the City’s response to the blizzard that began on December 26.

The preliminary results of the review conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Operations found problems in six areas: (1) the decision not to declare a snow emergency; (2) insufficient accountability tools that led to a lack of real-time information on street conditions; (3) insufficient and delayed deployment of City assets that could have assisted with snow removal operations; (4) failure to procure and preposition private resources; (5) insufficient communication within City government and to the public; and (6) problems with emergency communications and response.

The 15-point Action Plan to address these problems will:

 Improve the process for declaring emergencies;

 Provide a broader range of options that could be part of an emergency declaration and make them clear and understandable to New Yorkers;

Equip every Department of Sanitation truck with a GPS device enabled with two-way communication;

Improve accountability tools and plowing definitions used by Sanitation for street conditions;

 Use live monitors (SCOUT) to stream video of trouble spots;

 Enhance immediate availability of critical equipment;

 Enhance ability to deploy City employees from other departments;

Enhance the Emergency Operations Center as the center of resource coordination;

 Improve tow truck deployment;

 Secure and expeditiously deploy private contractors for assistance;

 Improve the process of hiring additional laborers;

Improve two-way communications through real time portal;

Provide better methods for citizens to request help;

 Reform dispatch protocols in extreme and high volume events.

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