Today, except by Kennedy airport and South Ferry station, the system is pretty much back to normal.
Cafiero explained there are a lot of long-term problems they're looking at, including corrosion and trash/sediment ingress and water damage. Longer term, he said, we need to understand those impacts and figure out how to create signal systems hat can survive salt water.
The Port Authority of NY and NJ
Stephanie Dawson, acting chief operating officer for the Port Authority of NY and NJ talked about the impact on their systems: airports, seaports, rail (PATH) and vehicular crossings.
"What you think about planning depends on where you sit or stand," Dawson said. "Three to four days is not a lot of time to make changes and preparations for something like this."
Their plans were built upon preparations/recovery plans from terrorism events and she said though everyone thinks of it in terms of security, while that's important, it's not the only element. Whether flu, biological attacks, hurricanes, what ever it may be, all of those are hazards and at the end of the day, she said, staff needs to know what they need to do differently for each
One of the opportunities for the future, she said, was in their corporate preparedness. As Sandy got closer they got increasingly detailed weather reports: each of their different lines of business had their own weather service that they used. Going forward, she said they need to use comparable or the same service so the message is clear
As facilities were hardened, staffing was readjusted in the immediate prelude and staff that was assigned to the emergency ops center was security staff. "What we really needed were those that knew the operations for each of the lines of business because corporate-level decisions needed them," Dawson said. "If you get one generator that comes in, where does it go?"
She said three to four days out, you are stuck with the plans that you have made previously. Seventy-two hours out, you are stuck with the preparations that you have made
One of the things they learned during the recovery was the importance of the collaboration with transportation agencies across the region and nation. They received repair parts and equipment from other systems for PATH, including from the MTA.
They also partnered with firms and consultant and, Dawson stated, "We probably nee to rethink how we partner with them because some of them re-opened their production facilities for us." One example she gave was GE opening its Puerto Rico facility. With PATH having some systems so antiquated, they needed to open their plant to supply some of the parts that are no longer available.
Important during the recovery was bus service across the lines of businesses. Tunnels and Bridges supported PATH in terms of creating bus shuttles and they managed the relationship with the bus companies. "That was the first and probably not the last time we'll need that interdepartmental cooperation," Dawson said.
Social Media During Major Events
The Role of Social Media in Preparation, Response and Recovery was presented by Sarah Kaufman of the Rudin Center for Transportation, NYU Wagner School for Public Service.
Kaufman explained preparation involves building your audience so that when you need to get out the information, you're ready. During a disaster you're going to have power outages, some people will have Internet, some will have phones: you need to reach out in as many channels as possible.
Pre-event messaging involves giving them information. Tell them about transportation access, give them warnings, prepare them for what they may need, provide responses to questions.
Once the disaster hits, the messaging goes two ways. Outgoing, you're giving instructions, providing information, giving access information, giving emergency management information. Equally important is the incoming messages so you can know what is happening across your system.