The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to hire a Manhattan consulting firm specializing in disaster preparedness with the aim of eventually building a $1 million emergency services center at City Hall.
The city plans to use funds from $25 million allocated to Long Beach by the governor’s Community Reconstruction Program to make City Hall a command center in the event of a disaster on the level of superstorm Sandy.
Manhattan-based RedLand Strategies, which provides consulting services on emergency management, storm recovery and homeland security, will receive $4,000 a month from Long Beach for one year. The city maintains the option of renewing the contract for another two years after the first 12 months.
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said superstorm Sandy showed that the city needed its own emergency response center to work in conjunction with Nassau County’s services in Bethpage.
“One thing we learned as a community is we’ve got to repair for these things,” Schnirman said. “It’s far better to prepare before and not react later.”