Oberman calls for penalties against residents riding out hurricanes

Residents living in flood zones who stubbornly refuse to obey a mandatory evacuation order during a hurricane would be slapped with penalties if a City Council candidate gets his way.

Igor Oberman, who is running in the Democratic Primary for the council seat in the 48th District (Brighton Beach-Sheepshead Bay), has released a disaster response plan to prepare for the next superstorm.

Among the plan’s proposals is a call for the city to establish repercussions for residents who refuse to leave their homes during a mandatory evacuation emergency. Oberman does not spell out the penalties he would like to see for residents who decide to ride out a hurricane.

“I would first like to applaud the city for providing a great deal of aid to our residents following superstorm Sandy. Unfortunately, though, the city did fall short of effectively evacuating its residents. For instance, many people failed to leave their homes despite the mandatory evacuation, proper safety precautions were not in place in buildings along the shoreline and sufficient funding was not provided to our community for rebuilding,” Oberman said.

Oberman said there should also be a requirement that city authorities go door to door to tell residents that a mandatory evacuation is in progress. Other features of his plan: a requirement that the city find immediate accommodations for displaced residents, mandatory changes in building codes for structures located within one mile of the shoreline and storing adequate amounts of food and supplies for a storm’s aftermath.

Super-storm Sandy ravaged many areas of New York City last October, including neighborhoods like Brighton Beach and Coney Island. Oberman said the city should be working now, before the next storm hits, to ensure that such destruction would not occur again in the council district.

“Over the past year, our district and New York City as a whole have made great strides in improving our hurricane preparedness and restoring the infrastructure and businesses that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. However, there is still significant progress to be made so that we can fully ready ourselves for the upcoming hurricane season and ensure that the establishments we lost last year are completely restored and better protected,” Oberman said.

“Today, I am calling on my fellow residents to give their utmost efforts in preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. As a longtime resident of Brighton Beach, I, too, understand the devastation and grief that we faced as we watched our neighborhoods turn to disarray last October, and as we anticipated the enormous amount of recovery efforts that would be necessary,” he said.

“Looking forward, I will help lead the crusade towards improving our response to hurricanes to guarantee that resources are not being wasted and so that our residents can recover more quickly,” Oberman said.

Oberman is one of four Democrats running in the Sept. 10 primary for the council sea currently held by Democrat Michael Nelson. Nelson is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. The field of Democrats hoping to succeed him includes Oberman, Theresa Scavo, Chaim Deitsch and Ari Kagan.

The winner of the primary will face Republican-Conservative David Storobin in the Nov. 5 general election.