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Storms put to test emergency operations.

Not one, but two record-breaking storms battered the east coast this winter putting heavy new emphasis on city and corporate emergency preparedness operations.

The Nor'easter storm was first, arriving in December with hurricane force winds and severe flooding. The New York metropolitan area was hard hit, with high flood waters threatening power Outages for the city. Castle Oil Company, the Harrison, New York-based oil supplier, met this challenge by putting their preparedness plan into action.

"The water flooded over our East River docks, threatening to halt operations," said Lou Romano, senior vice president of sales for Castle. An immediate concern was to keep Con Edison, a Castle customer, fully supplied with fuel. Under normal conditions this is done via barge, moving from Castle's Long Island City docks t Con Ed's East River power plant. With winds gusting hurricane force, delivery by barge would have been hazardous, and emergency plans for truck delivery were put into action.

"Storm forecasts alerted us to the potential for interrupted barge operation," said Romano, "so our plan called for moving the same capacityby truck with police escort. Over 50 overland deliveries were required." Working around the clock, Castle moved a total of 380,000 gallous within a 24-hour period to keep Con Ed operational.

The March '93 blizzard again tested planning, but with a new twist. While the Nor'easter affected the terminals most dramatically because of their proximity to the shoreline, the blizzard brought almost a foot of snow, blocking all trucking routes.

With heating oil demand at a peak high, the call was issued by Castle's president to all heads of the affected departments. This included Sales, where contact with customers must be maintained; Operations, to ensure the oil is delivered on time; and Service, to keep customers' equipment operational. Terminal Operations was alerted to the need for oil to be available on demand.

Oil demands shot up, requiring Casde to process twice the number of orders. "On an average day we process about 1,000 orders- on Monday after the blizzard processed over 2,000," reported Romano. "Virtually all our work force was on call over the weekend during the storm, putting into effect our work force plan for this kind of emergency."
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Title Annotation:East Coast winter 1993 storms test corporate emergency preparedness operations
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 16, 1993
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