Gov. Andrew Cuomo today held a meeting of a panel he commissioned after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New York City region in late October.
The panel recommended the state develop a fuel reserve, provide training to citizen volunteers and the National Guard and beef up supplies in the case of another storm emergency.
Cuomo also hinted that his State of the State address next Wednesday will address the issue of requiring some gas stations to have backup generators in the case of a massive power outage. Sandy, which hit Oct. 29, left more than 2 million people without power and impacted fuel shipments, leading to long lines and rationing of gas in New York City and its suburbs.
“We will have some form of it in the State of the State,” Cuomo said of the backup generator issue.
He said the fuel outage hindered the economy, which was also crippled by the flooding of downtown Manhattan and the New York City area shorelines.
“It caused two, three weeks of havoc – that short of a break in the supply. We went to rationing, etc., but it cost us untold millions of dollars in effect on the economy,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the panel’s preliminary recommendations are the first in a series of proposals he will consider as part of his State of the State and his budget address on Jan. 22.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that these are not episodic situations. There is a pattern. We believe there’s going to be a reoccurrence, and when you come to that understanding or realization, then you say, ‘Well how we get ready and how do we learn from these situations,’” he said.