Interview with Cecil Scheib, Managing Director for the NYC Building Resiliency Task Force
"Well there’s several levels of building resilience. So one thing that our current code handles very comprehensively is that a building be resilient enough that after an event, people can get out of it safely. They can safely evacuate. So generally that’s defined as 90 minutes, maybe two hours. What makes the resiliency effort different for New York City is that we’re trying to lengthen the amount of time that the building could be habitable so that people are not forced to evacuate. And this is important for a couple of reasons. One is people do not like to leave their homes—they’re worried about looting, they’re worried about safety, they don’t have places to go. So they like to stay home. And we saw after Sandy, a lot of people living in unsafe conditions because they did not want to leave. Second, the city only has limited capability to actually shelter people—you know, at shelters—and so the more people you can keep in a building, you know, the easier it is for the city to handle the people that really don’t have any option. So one level is just the emergency egress and just getting out safely. Another level might be what we call survivability."