NYC Emergency Management offers JFK disaster support

NYC Emergency Management offers JFK disaster support
NYC OEM Deputy Director Human Services Jay Brandt speaks to KAAMCO members about after disaster care for families.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

The NYC OEM has a main mission to provide assistance to the public in the event of a disaster.

Jay Brandt spoke at the JFK Kaamco meeting and explained how the NYC OEM wants to work with the airlines to set up logistics to deal with disastrous airline accidents.

Aviation disasters, like life insurance, is something no one like to discuss. However, the inevitability of some kind of aviation accident is something that will eventually happen and the Human Services department of the NYC OEM is missioned to be a part of logistics in a supportive role. This agency has a large scope of responsibility for working with all entities involved in any accident and particularly that in which lives are lost

Brandt explained that the overall service to the people affected by a disaster is the Family Assistance Center. This is a brick and mortar building situated in and near an airport in case of a serious accident. The is facility would offer separate areas for the victims of the accident and an area for family and friends. Brandt said, “ This is what we do and it is our job. We have good contacts with all agencies to connect with them all. There are so many layers of government that the OEM can help a problem that needs to be solved. We are the same service in FAC as NTSB but specific to the NYC.”

This Family Assistance Center would offer a wide range of services in one location which would include: a medical examiner service, the Mayor’s office, missing persons assist, connection with emergency manage teams. NTSB, air carrier response teams, 311, Brandt encouraged the airlines to work with the 311 phone program by having each airline provide an 800 to enable families to report a missing person believed to have been involved in the disaster. This ties into the Unified Victim Identification System which is critical to victim accounting.

Specifically Brandt recommended that the airlines follow the federal mandated rules which include: Each airline have a designated person to handle an event, establish an 800 number for the public to reach the airline, coordinate with the 311 city phone for missing people and have a large facility for Family Assistance. ( Currently the Hilton at JFK and the LaGuardia Plaza Hotel at LaGuardia Airport are working with the NYC OEM)and to attend the training that the OEM offers.

Brandt said that may airlines responded to the outreach last year by the NTSB and OEM and that many airlines have completed the training. The next training is set for May. Brandt may be contacted at jbrandt@oem.nyc.gov.For more information on the May date and place.

Training is held throughout the year. Over 15 airlines have participated and Brandt encourages more to get involved.

Brandt commented, “By attending our preparedness training we can help get you into facility ready to provide all things you need and work with our management team when necessary.” For more information go to: www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/partners-preparedness.page or email

Both Kaamco President Ana Lemos and VP Roger Scott agreed and agreed to spread this information to all its members.

More from Around New York