Memo from Richard Buery Regarding the CAS Emergency Plan

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UPDATE: August 29, 2011
We are grateful that the worst of the storm seems to have passed us by. While our thoughts remain with those who are continuing to feel the aftermath of Irene, we want to acknowledge the meaningful efforts that CAS made last week to prepare. In our initial assessment, it appears that overall, CAS sites have sustained minimal damage, which will be addressed by CAS facilities staff today and throughout the week. Although we know that many were inconvenienced by the weather and transit changes, the news from the field has been very positive so far. Our families in the evacuation zones were moved, and others were contacted to ensure appropriate safety plans. We will keep you updated as the news continues to unfold. Please do not hesitate to contact the Executive Office as needed for support.

Note: Click here or scroll to the bottom of the post to download a PDF of this memo.

The weather forecasts predict heavy rains and wind this weekend. Due to the severity of the conditions, the MTA will begin an incremental suspension of services beginning on Saturday in order to ensure the safety of its customers and employees. (http://www.mta.info/index.html) In light of the weather predictions, and disruptions in public transportation, we want to remind staff of our emergency policies and procedures.

As is our practice, Children’s Aid Society (CAS) locations will remain open in the case of a severe weather, transit disruption, or other emergency. As always, employees should make every attempt to get to their work site. The agency has a list of the people who can easily access each site on the morning of an emergency or weather problem; these people are designated as Emergency Site Openers. These designated Emergency Site Openers have the keys and/or know the security entry procedures for their designated site.

If a school or other site is closed, full-time employees will be informed by the site/program director as to where to report to work (usually to a CAS location close by). Full-time employees who are unable, or do not wish to report to another site or do not receive instructions, may use personal, vacation or accrued comp time instead, or they may use unpaid leave.

Messages and notifications will be available on the external CAS website (www.childrensaidsociety.org) and Charlie 2.0 (www.childrensaidsociety.net) to provide ongoing direction and information to staff and others. Note: If there is any specific update to this plan that will impact the workday on Monday, August 29, you can expect that it will be posted at the above locations by 6AM on Monday.

Remember to activate your departmental phone trees to communicate the status of site openings and closings, and please take the appropriate steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. See http://www.nyc.gov for more information.

Important information for our clients: CAS has a 24 hour per day 7 days per week phone answering service and where needed (such as in Foster Care and Health Services) departments have an On-call/Emergency Coverage staff team available to handle calls coming in from clients or others trying to contact the agency.

Please remind your staff to notify clients that they can always reach a CAS representative (day or night) by calling (212) 949-4800.