Improving Regional Situational Awareness During Fuel Emergencies in the New York Tri-State Areas: Lessons from Superstorm Sandy

Lead PI: Robert M. Hallman, Ke Wei

Unit Affiliation: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

July 2016 - Ongoing
North America ; New York
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: The large-scale disruption of fuel supplies caused by Superstorm Sandy brought the vulnerabilities of the New York Tri-state fuel supply system into sharp relief. In the three and one-half years since the storm, concerns about extreme weather and overall energy security have only grown, leading policymakers at all levels, fuel suppliers to the region and related power providers to examine how this system can be strengthened against future risks.
In a series of forums with senior-level, regional industry and government officials convened by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (CGEP) initiated in 2014, public sector situational awareness was identified as a critical problem exposed by Sandy. Situational awareness, in this context, refers to the quick, reliable, and efficient communication of information between the private sector and the public sector critical to understanding the fuel supply system in real time and restoring its operations during emergencies. It also includes the need for prompt sharing of this critical information between and among public officials at all levels of government responsible for emergency preparedness and response. Access to this information is essential for public officials to evaluate and implement response measures as well as to credibly inform the public of rapidly changing conditions, and for private and public sector coordination.