New York City relief: Day nine

Today is a day of transitions here in the logistics center. Last night the crew from Boston packed up and headed out for a last dinner in the city. They got on the road back home in the early morning hours today.  After working with them for the past week, they became part of the family here. There was a funny exchange of tokens of appreciation between NYC and Boston - and a round of applause for their efforts.

The Boston/New York Summit

This morning, a team from Texas arrived to begin their orientation here at Logistics. Pulled from agencies across the state, they come to the city with a lot of experience dealing with natural disasters - most notably Hurricane Ike in 2008. They got the same briefing we got more than a week ago, and are sitting through the same training video we saw.

The Texas team getting their briefing

After more than a week here, I have to wonder if the folks who saw us come in that first day wondered what our team was going to be like.

One thing is for certain - the Texas team is walking into a very different situation than we did. When we arrived, assets were being pushed into the field rapidly. “Just make it happen,” was the expression I heard several times as affected residents were still wandering the streets trying to take in the scope of the damage.

Now, we’re starting the process known as demobilization - also known as Demob. Basically, it’s time to find those items we pushed out into the streets and pull them back. For instance - when the power was out in those first days, these large light towers were sent out with the New York City police and fire departments. They were set up at intersections and in neighborhoods which needed illumination in those dark nights.

Light towers ready to be deployed in the field

Now that Consolidated Edison (ConEd) has restored power to many of these neighborhoods, it’s time to have them picked up. Sometimes, it’s a piece of cake. Other times, well, it’s kind of like trying to find the proverbial needle in the urban haystack. As power was restored, well meaning officials moved them to the next neighborhood without notifying logistics about the new location. I’m convinced¬† that some time in 2018, someone will find a relic of the Hurricane Sandy equipment deployment in someone’s backyard, lighting their summer barbecue.

While the emergency phase of Hurricane Sandy is ramping down, the effort to rebuild is just beginning.