« Continuity of Operations Planning

Winter storm Nemo tests states’ continuity of operations planning

East Coast residents could face serious fines if they do not shovel their sidewalks or if they push superfluous snow into the streets.
East Coast residents could face serious fines if they do not shovel their sidewalks or if they push superfluous snow into the streets.

The East Coast has been put to the test over the last four months. First, Hurricane Sandy swept across the Atlantic Ocean-facing states and then winter storm Nemo wreaked more havoc last weekend. However, state officials have been working hard to ensure that continuity of operations plans are being put to good use.

In New York, hundreds of cars were stuck on the Long Island Expressway. Many residents voiced their displeasure at Governor Cuomo for not shutting down major roadways sooner, the same way that Massachusetts and Connecticut did.

“There were cars scattered all over the place,” George Kiriakos, an investment consultant from New York commented on the storm. “They should have just told people in the morning, ‘Don’t bother going in because we’re going to close the roads by 3 o’clock.’ I think Boston and Connecticut had the right idea telling everybody to stay off the roads.”

However, sidewalks were still an issue in several areas. In Connecticut, two people were hospitalized after a car struck four pedestrians walking on a street because sidewalks hadn’t been cleared of snow.

The Boston Globe reported that city officials have issued more than 500 tickets to property owners who failed to adequately clear sidewalks or who put snow on city streets and sidewalks.

Bryan Glascock, commissioner of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department, told the Globe that it’s important for residents to take responsibility for their own corner of the world. It’s important for individuals to clear sidewalks and not push snow, ice or slush into the streets in the process because it just makes the situation worse. 

While many cities were able to avoid having cars trapped on roadways, a lengthy recovery process is still very likely. However, without continuity of operations planning, it is very possible that fewer plows and sand trucks would have been out on the roads. It’s important for state officials to take into account the types of weather that can affect businesses and residents.