47° Good Evening
47° Good Evening
NewsNew York

Relief if disaster strikes

By Jason Fink

If disaster strikes the city again, New Yorkers can rest assured: You will be able to find a toilet.

According to the city’s Office of Emergency Management, the city’s disaster plan provides for the needs of, say, the up to 3 million people who would flee a Category 5 hurricane.

A report this week by Japan’s disaster prevention panel found that if a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit on a weekday, hundreds of thousands of people in Tokyo would be unable to find an appropriate place to relieve themselves.

Not so in Gotham, says Kelly McKinney, deputy commissioner of the OEM.

“Based on what we know, and based on our scenarios, yes” people will be able to get to a bathroom, he said. “That’s precisely what we plan for.”

Besides shelters that have cots and other longer-term necessities for people displaced by a disaster, the city has what it calls “ready receiving centers,” which are primarily churches, schools, libraries and similar non-profits.

“We noticed on 9/11 and (during the blackout) in 2003, that people walking long distances need certain services,” McKinney said.

And those facilities, meant for just a quick drop-in, are set up as receiving centers because of their . . . well, facilities.

More news