In the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms the East Coast has ever experienced, millions of Americans are without power, transportation or communications as they begin to recover from the hurricane. Meteorological historians are already marking the books, cataloging  Hurricane Sandy as the largest for an Atlantic hurricane ever, with the lowest recorded pressure ever in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As part of an early analysis, it is observed that Sandy could rank as the fifth-costliest hurricane in history.  

As the storm is thankfully past us, the destruction it has caused won’t be righted overnight. Hundreds of thousands are taking part in the mass cleanup, and it will likely be a long time before we see things return to “normal.”

Here at JSA, we are happy (and relieved) to report that we are all safe and sound, both our JSA family and our extended families. And as our team is located throughout the continental US, we have been able to work with our clients and their crisis communications plans without any lapse of time or service.  JSA is 100% up and running, even with some of our key team members located in highly-impacted areas such as downtown NYC, Hoboken and along the Jersey shoreline.  

JSA has a team-based structure, which means that we dedicate a team of 3-4 public relations, marketing and event professionals to each account, as well as designers when needed. Therefore, we were able to rely on other team members who were ‘on-net’ to manage client deliverables, while our team most directly impacted by Sandy were able to focus on securing themselves and their families. JSA wishes all those impacted by Sandy a safe and fast recovery.

As for our clients, thankfully all are doing well. For those directly in the path of the storm, we are grateful that only minimal impacts have been experienced. Here are some of our client updates:

From Hibernia Atlantic:

Hibernia Atlantic’s network has been operational throughout the duration of Hurricane Sandy, and we remain available to help assist others in this time of need.  Our subsea cables’ landing stations are located in Lynn, MA and Halifax, Nova Scotia, areas that fortunately were not as impacted by Sandy’s reach.   Hibernia´s network and landing stations are diverse from all the other trans Atlantic cable systems in that our cable landing stations are not based in the NYC area.  As a result, our cables have sustained no impact from the storm, illustrating the value of physical diversity.  

We want to acknowledge the ongoing efforts by our industry as a whole, including the many partners, vendors and networks who are working together to keep communications available.  Hibernia has been able to assist a number of our customers and partners already that were impacted by the storm. For example, several routes on our partner’s network went down, but we successfully rerouted traffic before the trading floor opened this morning. 

Our global Network Operating Centers (NOCs) remain on ‘high alert’, with our engineers well-staffed and monitoring all of our network Points of Presence (PoPs), particularly those in the New York City area most impacted by Sandy.  These PoPs are currently operating on generators due to the power outage, but we are, and continue to be, up and running.

From TELEHOUSE America; latest update as of 11/1: (See full updates at www.telehouse.com)

• All three New York City facilities continue to operate normally off-grid.

•  TELEHOUSE continues regular daily refueling.

•  Engineers are reviewing all standby systems to ensure continued operations.

From tw telecom:

tw telecom has been minimally impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The company made preparation plans for the storm well in advance, and in turn is well prepared for the aftermath the storm has caused. It is concentrating primarily on working to secure the well-being of the tw telecom NYC team members and their families as well as tw telecom customers. The tw telecom network is intact, and the company has been providing a lot of help and relief aid to the NYC/NJ area in response.  The people and their safety is tw telecom’s number one concern.

From Zayo Networks’ Letter to Customers; latest update as of 11/1:

Dear Valued Zayo Customer,

The restoration efforts related to Hurricane Sandy have continued today throughout the region, and the power companies are restoring power to a notable 1.2 million subscribers per day on average.  Based on the initial impact of 8.2 million subscribers, this is tracking with the 7 day timeline originally estimated by the power utilities to complete the restoration progress.   While there was substantial progress made by the utilities today, there was little notable progress made in the New York metropolitan area due to the ongoing removal of water and mitigation of salt water damage.  New York State is currently averaging 83,000 power restorations per day, while surrounding states are currently making greater progress, with New Jersey restoring approximately 330,000 subscribers per day as an example.  From a Zayo perspective, we are now receiving more specific plans from the power utilities enabling us to better forecast the repair of our outstanding network impairments.  Current indications are that the final power repairs upon which we are dependent in Pennsylvania will be completed on Saturday or Sunday, while our repairs in New Jersey and New York are largely complete with more progress expected throughout the night.  As observed with previous events of this nature, there is a risk that additional fiber cuts will occur during the restoration work as fallen trees are cleared, pole are replaced, or fibers damaged by electrical fires are moved and potentially broken during the repair process.  These cuts, if they do occur are generally much shorter in duration and usually resolved in a matter of hours.  

Read full and regular updates at http://www.zayo.com/emergency-response.  

JSA will continue to post updates as we receive them. For any additional questions regarding Sandy’s impact on communications networks, please email [email protected].