State says no waiting in future

Albany

The Cuomo administration has a message for the next mayor of New York City: Next time there’s a flood, hurricane or some other catastrophe, state officials won’t wait for the city’s go-ahead to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes.

“Next time we’ll just get it done,” said Jerome Hauer, commissioner of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. He spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the state Disaster Preparedness Commission, which includes representatives of numerous state agencies.

“Instead of waiting for the city to pull the plug (on evacuation efforts) next time, we’ll get more aggressive,” he said.

The comments came in a review of how emergency responders performed during Superstorm Sandy, which last year tore through New York City and surrounding suburbs, wreaking particular havoc on coastal Long Island.

Hauer said he was pleased with the response of the State Police and agencies such as Transportation and Health, and military personnel, he now believes hospitals and nursing homes should have been evacuated earlier.

At the time of the storm, Mayor Michael Bloomberg exempted those facilities from evacuation orders in low-lying areas because moving elderly people carries heightened risks.

But after flooding knocked out power facilities, the evacuations that followed more perilous.

Hauer said the ………..

Source: State says no waiting in future

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