Shareholder Emergency Preparedness Guide
I. Introduction/Message from the Board
The management of [BUILDING], comprised of the Board of Directors, Century Management and the Resident Manager, is committed to the health, safety and welfare of the shareholders and tenants of [BUILDING]. In an effort to educate and better prepare our shareholders in the event of an emergency, Management has created this Emergency Preparedness Guide. This Guide is a means to help educate, enable and empower our shareholders to plan ahead and be better equipped in the event of an emergency or disaster. More importantly, we hope this Guide furthers the dialogue in your own household about emergency preparedness.
Some items discussed herein may be viewed as self-evident or stating the obvious; however, Management has prepared this Guide to speak to the various demographics represented here at [BUILDING], especially those who might not have previously experienced emergency situations in the New York City area. While living in New York City may feel isolating at times, Management views our building very differently. Most recently, we witnessed our staff and shareholders rise to the challenge during Hurricane Sandy. We, as Board members and fellow shareholders, wish to continue and encourage the “know and help thy neighbor” spirit amongst us and the community-at-large.
Please familiarize yourself with this Guide and keep it in a safe place for future reference. Management is concurrently evaluating the building’s own internal protocols and safety procedures to maintain the co-op’s building systems. As those plans are finalized, any relevant information that might impact shareholders will be distributed to you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of us.
The Board of Directors
II. Types of Emergencies and Potential Effects
It is impossible to fully anticipate and list all the possible emergencies that could occur. As such, this Guide is not meant to be fully comprehensive but rather to highlight and have shareholders think through various scenarios to be better prepared should such an emergency occur. According to the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the categories listed below generally reflect the types of potential hazards that may occur in the New York City area. To that list, we have also added the types of emergencies that may be limited to our building or an individual shareholder’s apartment but constitute an emergency nonetheless.
Public emergencies: Severe weather conditions (blizzards, heat waves) Coastal storms/Floods Hurricanes Earthquakes Utility disruptions/Power outages Building collapses and explosions (steam/gas) Hazardous materials, chemical spills and radiation exposure Disease outbreaks Bioterrorism/Criminal activity
Building/Individual shareholder emergencies:
Water/Gas/Carbon monoxide leaks Smoke/Fire Serious personal illness
As much as we can hope to anticipate and prepare for any crisis, in many instances these events may be unforeseeable. As such, we hope you will consider the above-mentioned scenarios and consider your own plan of action. It is important to develop and practice an emergency plan with your household members (including children) to prepare for what to do, how to find each other and how to communicate in an emergency.
Should one of these emergencies occur, the chart below lists the effects of potential service disruptions to the building:
EFFECTS OF POTENTIAL SERVICE DISRUPTIONS AT [CO-OP BUILDING]
LOSS OF BUILDING IMPACT REASON SHAREHOLDER IMPACT
LOSS OF Electricity
BUILDING IMPACT No lights in hallways, stairwells, lobby, basement and garage; No elevator service; No water supply (for drinking, cooking, washing, and flushing toilets) – Electric pump needed to circulate water; No intercom system; No laundry room service; No garbage service – Electricity needed to run compactor; No security cameras
SHAREHOLDER IMPACT No lights; No refrigerator; No cable TV, internet or cable telephone services; Cordless telephones plugged into electric outlets will not work; Kitchen ovens with electric starters will not work; All electronic equipment that requires a power source will not work beyond the battery life, if applicable; No water for drinking/cooking/ washing; Toilets will not flush
LOSS OF Steam
BUILDING IMPACT No heat – Water circulated through the fan coil units is heated using steam power; No hot water; No air conditioning – Water circulated through the fan coil units is cooled using steam power
SHAREHOLDER IMPACT No heat; No hot water; No air conditioning
LOSS OF Water
BUILDING IMPACT No water supply (for drinking, cooking, washing, and flushing toilets); No heat – Water is needed to circulate through the fan coil; No air conditioning – Water is needed to circulate through the fan coil
SHAREHOLDER IMPACT No water; No heat; No air conditioning
LOSS OF Gas
BUILDING IMPACT No gas to apartment kitchen; No laundry room service – Gas powers the dryers
SHAREHOLDER IMPACT Kitchen stove and oven will not work; No laundry room service
III. Emergency Preparedness
Management and the building staff have been and are continuing to evaluate their own emergency policies and procedures and are in the process of updating the building’s plan that includes steps that the staff will take to protect the building and, to the extent possible, ensure the continued (or resumed) operation of critical building equipment. Relevant information from that plan is summarized below.
A. Building Staff Responsibilities
1. The Resident Manager – In the event of an emergency, the Resident Manager is the primary person in charge. In consultation with Board members and the Managing Agent, he determines the actions to be taken to protect the building’s equipment and its shareholders. The Resident Manager is also the primary coordinator of building systems plans/actions with the Managing Agent and key Board members.
2. Other Building Staff – Other building staff members will support the efforts of the Resident Manager. Their primary responsibilities will be to ensure the safety of the building and, where possible, assist shareholders during an emergency.
3. Based on the limited availability of staffing that is typical during an emergency, staff members are not required, and should not be expected, to provide individual services to shareholders. For example, staff will not be required to carry water or packages to shareholder’s apartments; staff will not accompany delivery people, etc. Under no circumstances will building staff be expected to provide personalized services such as watering plants, walking/feeding pets, or other individualized services during an emergency. Such one-off requests may result in delays or further prevent the staff from their official duties that would benefit all the shareholders in the building. Shareholders are expected to be self-reliant or to speak with neighbors/friends/relatives for assistance. (Shareholders may also speak with their respective Emergency Floor Coordinators, as further discussed below.)
4. In the event of a power outage, the staff will promptly close the laundry room, compactor rooms on each floor, and one stairwell (in order to centralize and maintain safety lighting for all 17 floors). Depending on the nature and duration of the emergency, shareholders may be asked to hold on to their garbage or to bring it downstairs themselves.
5. Notices will be posted as soon as practicable. Shareholders may also receive broadcast telephone messages, email or text alerts via Building Link (see below).
B. Volunteer Emergency Floor Coordinators
1. As of the date of this Guide, a network of volunteers is being organized by shareholders whereby shareholders will serve as Emergency Floor Coordinators (“EFCs”) for a specific floor(s) in the building. Each floor will have two assigned EFCs and will, among other things:
a. Participate with fellow EFCs in periodic meetings during an emergency to receive and share information about the current status of the building and any relevant plans that may impact shareholders; b. Share such information with the shareholders on their assigned floor(s); c. Assist or troubleshoot issues for shareholders on their assigned floor(s) that might arise during an emergency; d. Assist building staff as needed; and e. Provide feedback and information to Management regarding needs and the physical conditions of the floor(s) to which they are assigned.
2. A designated Volunteer Network Coordinator(s) will oversee and manage all the operational logistics among all the EFCs during an imminent or, if possible, unforeseeable crisis.
1. Central Information Board – There will be a central information board in the lobby area where current information about the emergency situation will be posted and updated as soon as practicable. Shareholders are also encouraged to use this information board to post notices of any neighborhood or building-related information that could help fellow shareholders.
2. Building Link – Through this technology (details to be provided shortly), the Board and Managing Agent will be able to transmit broadcast telephone, text and email messages to all shareholders using the Building Link system. Shareholders are strongly encouraged to sign up and provide their personal contact information in order to receive building-wide communications.
3. Emergency Floor Coordinators – As stated above, during an emergency, the EFCs will meet periodically to receive information that will be disseminated by them to each of their assigned floors.
D. Other Shareholder Volunteers
Management may seek to enlist other shareholders to volunteer their services on an ad hoc basis during an emergency situation. Examples of where shareholders can help include: helping staff with managing the garbage; carrying packages up and down stairs for fellow shareholders; and accompanying delivery people to shareholder apartments. The Board encourages the EFCs to coordinate with fellow shareholders in this regard.
INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDER PREPAREDNESS
A. Emergency Contact Information and Keys.
It is extremely important that Management has your emergency contact information and apartment keys in case of emergency.
1. Shareholders should record their contact information in Building Link – [BUILDING] has recently subscribed to Building Link, a secure website that, among other things, helps to capture and store emergency contact information. Management will soon be distributing information on how to sign up online. Having your contact information recorded on that site will enable Management to contact you if there is an emergency in the building or in your apartment, particularly if you are not on the premises. Examples of such emergencies include smoke alarm, fire, water leaks, etc. Furthermore, in the event of a full or partial building evacuation, it will allow Management to alert you to the status of the building and your apartment.
2. Relative/friend information – Shareholders should also provide the name and contact information for a relative or close friend who can be contacted in case you cannot be reached in the event of an emergency. This information is also needed in case you become ill and family must be informed.
3. Apartment keys must be left in KeySure. KeySure is a system in which you seal your keys in a box provided by the Resident Manager. The box is assigned a random number (not your apartment number) and only the Resident Manager has access to the KeySure boxes and the code to identify your individual key box. A variety of emergency situations may arise in which the Resident Manager or staff must legally enter your apartment (e.g., smoke alarm, small fires, water leak). If he does not have access to your keys, he may be required to open the door by force which may result in more damage to your apartment or that of your neighbor(s) due to the delay in accessing the apartment. It should also be noted that shareholders are responsible for any damage resulting from the necessary forced entry into an apartment.
B. Shareholder Procedures for Personal/Apartment Emergencies.
1. Determine the emergency. If the emergency is life-threatening, call 911 immediately. 2. Call the front desk to notify the Resident Manager or any staff member as soon as possible. 3. For non-life threatening emergencies (e.g., water leaks, etc.), the Front Desk is the primary point of contact. 4. Building staff will notify Management to help assess the emergency.
C. Staying in your apartment during an emergency.
1. In the event the emergency is foreseeable and there is time to prepare, we remind shareholders to notify and coordinate with any outside service providers regarding alternate arrangements. For example, if a shareholder relies on food deliveries, has a home health aide, or routinely gets picked up by an ambulette, it is best to confirm ahead of time if these services will be available during an emergency. If such services are not available, make sure alternate arrangements are made.
2. Each shareholder is strongly advised to have certain supplies on hand. Shareholders should not assume that neighbors and building staff are available at a moment’s notice. If you need assistance with making your personal emergency plans, please speak to Management, staff or your assigned EFC.
Below is a list of recommended items you should have readily available in your apartment during an emergency:
– Flashlights/head lamps – Extra batteries – Battery-operated AM/FM radio – Matches – Battery operated candles (flame candles are a fire risk) – First aid kit – Supply of any prescription medications – Backpack (to carry supplies up/down the stairs) – Non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods (e.g., canned foods, cereal, bread); – Manual can opener – One gallon of drinking water per person per day – Extra water for washing, cooking, flushing toilets (use pots and sinks and fill the bath tub) – Rubber stoppers for sinks and bathtubs – Corded telephones for landlines, if applicable – Pet food and supplies – Extra garbage bags – Extra cash (ATM machines might not be working or run out of money) – Fire extinguisher
3. Have a “Go Bag” at the ready (for more information, see the brochure entitled “Ready New York – My Emergency Plan”). This is some type of bag, such as a backpack, with the following suggested items:
– Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, photo IDs, etc.) – Extra sets of car and house keys – Copies of credit and ATM cards and cash – Bottled water and non-perishable food, like energy or granola bars – Flashlight – Battery-operated AM/FM radio, and extra batteries – List of the medications members of your household take and their dosages, or copies of all your prescription slips, with doctors’ names and phone numbers – First aid kit – Toiletries/Personal hygiene items – Lightweight raingear and Mylar blanket – Contact and meeting place information for your household, and small regional map – Child care, pet, or other special items
4. In the event of a power outage, you may be asked to go to the lobby to meet your guests or pick up anticipated deliveries or packages. As security cameras might not be available and staffing resources may be limited, the staff will be instructed to take heightened safety precautions for the entire building and not permit unaccompanied visitors or delivery people into the building.
D. Evacuating your apartment during an emergency.
In the event of a life-threatening situation or prolonged emergency, shareholders either may voluntarily decide or be required to evacuate their apartments. During a mandatory evacuation, Management recommends shareholders stay with friends or family outside the evacuated areas until the problem has been resolved and it is safe to return. We also recommend designating an out-of-state contact who all family members can call if separated during the emergency.
1. Fire safety (for more information, please refer to the Building’s Fire Safety Guide that is distributed annually to all shareholders and will also be available online on Building Link)
a. If a fire breaks out in your apartment, remain calm and get everyone out as soon as possible and close (do not lock) the door behind you. b. Do not use the elevator. Take the stairs. c. Call 911 from a safe place and alert the Front Desk or staff immediately. d. If the fire is not in your apartment, stay inside and listen for instructions from firefighters unless conditions become dangerous. Open windows a few inches at top and bottom unless flames and smoke are coming from below. e. Always feel doors with the back of your hand before you open them. If they are hot, try to find another way out or stay where you are and await further instructions. f. If you are unable to get out for any reason, stay near a window. Close the door and fill cracks with wet cloth to block out smoke. g. Familiarize yourself with the location of the stairwells in relation to your apartment. In the event of low visibility due to heavy smoke/fire, it is important that you can identify the appropriate doorway.
2. Other emergencies
a. If there is time, secure your home. Close and lock windows and doors, turn off all electric lights and unplug appliances before you leave. Make sure all water faucets are shut. b. Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable, protective clothing. c. Do not use an elevator during building or area-wide emergencies unless directed to do so by emergency officials. d. Take your “Go Bag” (see above).
3. Meeting Site – In the event a mandatory evacuation is limited to [BUILDING] or its immediate vicinity, Management has designated the intersection of Gramercy Park South and Irving Place as the emergency meeting site for all shareholders and building staff. Please inform your children and members of your household of this location should family members become separated.
4. Pets – Management reminds pet owners to think about where you will go with your pet and how you will get there if you have to leave home during an emergency. Copies of the “Ready New York – Pets” brochure are available at the Front Desk.
a. Arrange for family or friends outside of the affected area to shelter your pet. b. Identify animal-friendly hotels outside of the affected area. c. Speak with your veterinarian, kennel, or grooming facility to see if they can offer shelter for your pet during an emergency. d. Have a Go Bag for your pet (see above).
IV. Guide Maintenance
Management will periodically review and, as necessary or appropriate, revise or update the Guide to ensure its continuing relevance and effectiveness. Emergency preparedness is very important to us and we will continue to seek ways to improve and enhance our existing policies and procedures. The Shareholders will be notified of any changes and/or provided with any updated Guides, as appropriate.
V. Resources and Useful Websites
Along with this Guide, we will be distributing a brochures from the NYC Office of Emergency Management for your reference. Other available guides include:
Ready New York – My Emergency Plan
Ready New York – Preparing for Emergencies in New York
Ready New York – Hurricanes and New York City
NYC Office of Emergency Management:
For children: www.nyc.gov/readynykids
For Pets: www.nyc.gov/readynypets (Copies of “Ready New York – Pets” will also be available at the Front Desk)
VI. Emergency Contacts
Doormen/Front Desk [PHONE]
[NAME] Resident Manager [PHONE]
[NAME] Managing Agent [CONTACT INFORMATION]
NYC General Information and Non-Emergency Services 311
Police Department Pct. 13 230 East 21st Street 911 or 212-477-7411
Fire Department 911
Con Edison 212-576-3255 or 800-752-6633
New York City Office of Emergency Management www.nyc.gov/oem
Federal Emergency Management Office (FEMA) www.ready.gov
American Red Cross in Greater New York 877-733-2767 www.nyredcross.org
Poison Control Hotline 212-POISONS or 311
NYC Government Related Inquiries 311